Verse: Proverbs 11:17
Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

Another translation: The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

I really love this verse because it shows how easy it is to torment yourself with your own issues, or to enrich yourself with your own virtues. You can’t be cruel to others without also suffering cruelty to yourself. You can’t be merciful to others without also applying mercy to yourself.

Cruel is a difficult word, right? What’s it really mean to be cruel?

Well, being a workaholic means that you’re wearing yourself and others to the bone, which is very cruel. A merciful approach would be to take time for yourself to be a fuller person, to rest, and to grow.

Being stingy is cruel to others. You’ll end up being stingy with yourself as well, unable or unwilling to spend money (or attention, love, etc) and focusing instead on hoarding and greed.

Being a tyrant dictator in your relationships is cruel to others, but also is cruel to yourself since you won’t experience the giving or receiving sides of love.

The principle of mercy is that you’re taking actions that are healing or restful (merciful) to your soul and body. Apply that mercy, and find that rest in God’s intended plan.

God, show me an area that I’m being cruel, where I can instead show mercy to myself and others.

Author: Jordan Ambra