Saturday, February 25
Day 20: Merciful Generosity
In 1943, German fighter pilots significantly damaged the American B-17 Flying Fortress named “Ye Olde Pub.” The planer was flown under the control of Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Because the compass of the plane had been part of the damage, Brown did not realize he was flying the plane right into German territory. Frank Stigler, one of the German pilots, was ordered to shoot down the plane. However, as Stigler drew closer to the plane and saw its sad state, he was filled with compassion. He had seen Brown desperately trying to save the plane from crashing and himself and others from dying. Filled with compassion and mercy toward his enemy, Stigler chose not to shoot down the plane as ordered, and instead escorted the plane to a neutral zone not occupied by the Germans. Once Brown was safe, Stigler flew back to his superior and told him he had obeyed orders. Several decades later, Brown searched for Stigler and found him. The two quickly became friends and remained friends until Brown died in 2008.
In Genesis 45, we read of another man who chose mercy over revenge — Joseph. He had every right to take revenge on his brothers and dispose of them. However, he knew the long-term consequences of revenge were far greater than the short-term pain he would experience in choosing mercy. He chose generosity over self. Joseph’s generosity was a merciful one.
Something remarkable occurs when we choose mercy over revenge. In fact, there are many opportunities to demonstrate generosity toward those we may think do not deserve it. When we realize God demonstrated merciful generosity toward us through the cross, we will be able to show this same type of generosity to others.
Spend time in prayer, following the Upward, Inward, Outward, Upward format.
Upward: Who God is; What God has done, is doing, will do
Inward: Who you are; How you live
Outward: Intercession for others
“God, forgive me for not choosing merciful generosity. Help me to remember anyone I have taken revenge on and guide me in asking them for forgiveness. Help to be generous to those who have hurt me. Remind me of how generous you have been to me even though I am not deserving of your mercy. Help Pathway be a community that loves and demonstrates generosity to those who attack or disagree with us.”
Upward: Thanksgiving and Worship
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