Read: Matthew 5:1-12

Scientists who study sharks tell that they are most likely to attack when they sense blood in the water. The blood acts as a trigger to their feeding mechanism and they attack, often in a group, creating a deadly feeding frenzy. Blood in the water marks the vulnerability of the target.

This is sometimes how people in the church respond to those who are hurting. Instead of being a community where people are loved, cared for, and nurtured, it can become a dangerous environment where “predators” are looking for the “blood in the water” of someone’s shortcomings or faults. And then the feeding frenzy happens.

Instead of kicking people when they are down, we should be offering the encouragement of Christ by helping to restore the fallen. Of course, we are not to excuse sinful behaviour, but our Lord calls us to display mercy. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). Mercy has been described as not getting what we rightly deserve, and we all deserve eternal punishment. The same God who shows us mercy in Christ calls us to show mercy to one another.

So when we see “blood in the water,” let us seek to show mercy. A day may come when we will want someone to show mercy to us. Let us strive to display the attitude of Christ to others.

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