Sunday, November 09, 2014


I CAN REMEMBER THE RUMBLES WELL. Back in those elementary school days when impromptu wrestling matches would break forth between a couple of the guys.  It was all in good fun, most of the time. But, if things got a little too rough, or you found yourself pinned to the ground with your arms wrapped around your ears, you could always cry, “UNCLE!” and the other guy would let you go . . . hopefully.

The “Mercy-Rule” is what we call it in sports.  When the other team gets so far ahead the winning team backs down a little.  The freshman football team at San Lorenzo Valley High School gracefully invoked that rule during their first game of the season.  They were beating the tar out of the other team, and chose to let the clock keep running and not run down the ball on a fourth-down punt, all for the sake of giving the other team the opportunity to score.  They showed mercy.  Sadly, this is not always the case, but in this instance it showed great maturity and mercy. Kudos to the coaches and team at SLVHS.

This is a rule we could all do a better job of invoking sometimes as we deal with those with which we are in conflict. I have noted people so bent on winning that they don’t even realize how bloodied their opponent is and they just keep slugging away. These battles take place in government and in neighborhoods. They take place in school board meetings and church sanctuaries. I think it best not to wait until our opponent cries, “UNCLE!” It would much more Christ-like to grant mercy . . . even if we believe we have the right to win.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7) and again, “Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful,” (Luke 6:36) and remember that mercy was directed to you and me!

Look around you, does someone need mercy? Let’s offer it, even before they cry, “Uncle!”

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