Forgiving someone is what happens when you don’t make the person who wronged you pay up. Mercy is what happens when you don’t make someone pay up for the wrongs they’ve committed against you. When I ask my self if I’m a merciful person, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to let things go. Some things obviously need confronted, but not everything.
Someone once passed along this saying to me: See everything, overlook a lot, and correct a little. Sometimes, we have a tendency in life to hold a grudge against others. A grudge is a sure sign that you’re not being merciful and you’re not being forgiving. There are even some people who feel the need to call out everything they see in life. I don’t believe Jesus lived like this. The sin he confronted almost always was directed towards the religious elite. He showed mercy and forgiveness most to those who in society would have written been off the books.
Extending grace is making payment for the wrongs committed against you by others but that’s a topic for another day.