faith inspiration

His Mercies are New Every Morning

January 6, 2016

His Mercies are New EG

I was gifted this quote graphic when I purchased one of my (now many) Good Word Candles and loved it so much I framed it. It sits on my desk as an obvious reminder, but has also become encouragement for me when I wake up at the crack of dawn my new morning time each day. As I was groggily sitting in my office on Monday, sipping my coffee and wondering if even Bolton could bring me to life, I found myself really thinking about what the framed words meant.

His mercies are new every morning.

Maybe I was still half asleep but I found myself wondering what “mercies” truly meant. So of course I googled the definition. (If webpages could be on speed dial, Dictionary.com would be #2, right after my mom.) (Sorry, Christian.)

Mercies (noun)

  1. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone
  2. an event to be grateful for, especially because its occurrence prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from suffering
  3. (especially of a journey or mission) performed out of a desire to relieve suffering; motivated by compassion
  4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor
  5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing

Let all of that marinate for a minute, I mean dang. It’s one thing for us to know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins – the ultimate display of love and mercy – but what does His Mercy mean when put in daily context?

I have always been a bit of an emotional scorekeeper. Even when I was little, I remember thinking that I wouldn’t sit next to my friend Amy at the next birthday party because she didn’t save me a seat at the last one we attended together. (We’re talking 1st grade here and yes- this is a true story.) The whole way home from our friend’s party, I stewed in the backseat, feeling so hurt because we ALWAYS sat next to each other. I vowed to not save her a seat next to me the next time (because THERE IS NOTHING WORSE, am I right?) and don’t you know it- that very next week (because when you’re in first grade, there’s a birthday party every 7 seconds – it’s a fact), I ran over and sat in the middle of a couple of stranger girls. Now, I’ve always had a forgiving heart too and cannot stand it when others feel sad or bad so the second Amy teared up over me choosing to sit next to someone else, I kicked one of those stranger girls right on out of their seat, crying out, “Amy! Ok! You can sit here! Amy! Your seat is right here!”

I have no idea where this emotional scorekeeper attitude came from but I think part of it had to do with the fact that I personally always wanted to do the right thing, the right way – because I didn’t want to personally let anyone down. I didn’t care if friends or other people did things differently than me on their own, but if their way of doing something affected me directly, I felt I emotionally had to protect myself and would mentally keep a score in my head of these instances so that next time I would be a bit more cautious… and instead of learning to fully rely on and trust others, I began to get into the bad habit of doing everything myself. It kinda takes “Planner” to a whole new level, even in 1st grade, you know?

When I found myself in my first corporate job, my boss suggested I request an assistant to help me with things like faxes, emails, phone calls, etc. He was right – I was the only one in my “department” and was putting in 13 hour days most days each week; I was overwhelmed and at first, his idea of me getting an assistant sounded SO great. So HR got me an assistant, she was sweet and capable, and yet I had such a hard time handing anything over to her – even a fax – because I’d gotten so used to doing it all on my own. (She lasted 2 weeks and I went back to overloading myself… for almost 4 years.)

My mostly Type-A/Planner/Particular-Way-Of-Doing-Things personality only continued the older I got and I know what you’re thinking… I must be an absolute JOY to be married to 😉 While Christian and I have a lot of similarities, this Emotional Scorekeeper/Don’t-Worry-I’ll-Show-You-How-I-Load-The-Dishwasher gem of a trait is not one of the ones we share and I’m so thankful to be married to someone who encourages me to step outside of the rules/my way of doing things just by being himself. We are opposite in all the right ways and it’s enough to stretch each of us to be better people, which- while this is often a tough thing to learn in marriage, it’s also one of the absolute best things. I had to make the choice early on in our marriage that I wouldn’t – I couldn’t – keep score of “mess-ups” or “wrongdoings” and I had to really learn to trust that his way of doing something, albeit different than my way, was OKAY.

All of this reflection earlier this week got me thinking about Jesus and how beautiful and kind His ways are. I’m so thankful that He isn’t an emotional scorekeeper. He doesn’t greet me in the morning with a comment like, “Well yesterday you really messed up, so today I love you a bit less and am going to make things really hard for you all day.” And what’s more is that He trusts me each and every day with the plans He’s created for my life. He offers me the tools and then let’s me choose – each and every day – all the while helping me when I cry out to Him and rescuing me every single time I screw up. (And not with an “I told you so” response.)

There are no tallies of the times we’ve fallen flat on our faces – instead, Jesus wipes the slate clean for us each and every morning. He begins at the same place with us each day. His mercies are new every morning and His love for us remains the same, and we can rest in knowing it will be this way tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.

 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 

His mercies never come to an end; 

they are new every morning; 

great is your faithfulness! 

– Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

 

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  • Huh. Your words came at a perfect time (as usual). I am an emotional scorekeeper, too. For whatever reason I feel like I need to guard myself and take a step back if I sense trouble. (Usually I’m just being paranoid.) It’s like how when skin heals it become a scar… but with Jesus it just become fresh, clean, unblemished skin again.

    • I hear you. There’s such a fine line between being paranoid (because, hi- me too!) and trusting your gut – as I get older I’m learning to trust myself better and trust that no matter what happens, I’m ok. (And Jesus has made it that way!)

  • SO well spoken! I’m an emotional scorekeeper too but I am learning to let go, and to not hold it over others’ heads. Hard thing to do! Thank goodness Jesus isn’t like us… Because I would be in a world of trouble if He was lol!

  • I have a little bit of this in me too. I constantly am trying to figure out if it’s someone else’s “turn” to take the reigns in a relationship (be it a friendship or my marriage). and I totally do this with God. is it his turn to do something for me, or mine for Him? but He gives constantly, he doesn’t keep track of turns. I think my love of confession (catholic girl right here) stems from the feeling I get of a clean slate…even though His mercies are new every day, it’s a nice reminder that He forgives us when we ask. this is a beautiful piece emily!

    • Thanks for reading & taking the time to share your own experiences & feelings, Erin! <3

  • This. This is so so good. I have never thought of the actual definition of mercies. Wow. God is so good isn’t he? I love the story about you and Amy sitting together at parties. So much truth to how we can be though. Such a great reminder. xo!

    • Isn’t it funny how we hear some of these words so often and know what they mean but don’t really KNOW what they mean? I’m telling you- I am constantly googling definitions of words!

  • Terrific words here Emily. Much to ponder too. I love hearing Lamentations 3:22-23. It reassures me of God’s mercy and unconditional love…we all need that. Great post.

  • It is beautiful to think of our slates wiped clean for us each day, instead of just every January or at your birthday or another random “fresh start” place in life!

  • Wow….an emotional scorekeeper…have never heard that term but guess what? That’s me. Yikes. Hmm…as always you cause me to think and wonder and reflect. Thank you!!

  • Wow. Those definitions? So powerful! LOVED this post, girlie!

  • Mercies…NEW each day! How and why? But He does and there is no, absolutely no, room or need for questioning Him because He just does and that is all there is to it.
    I love this post and will be back, Emily. This is my first time visiting you.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Linda! I’m so glad you stopped by, thanks for leaving this note. Hope to see you again 😉

  • I had never thought about the title of emotional scorekeeper but it is so perfect. I have been that scorekeeper in the past and sometimes still battle with it. How fortunate we all are that we do have mercy in our life and that we are forgiven. Thanks for a beautiful post.

  • Loving your blog girly 🙂

  • I am super encouraged by this! The way you were able to analyze the emotional scorekeeping of your life (and many of our lives) gives so much more meaning to “his mercies are new every day.” It makes me so thankful to remember that Jesus doesn’t keep score and that His perfect love remains unaffected by our inability to love perfectly. Such a great post – thank you!

  • In one of my rooms in college, I had this verse HUGE. I struggled with emotional score keeping during that time (okay so I struggled with it my whole life but it came very apparent then and I started to work on it and pray on it and became aware of it then). God is so good.

    • I love hearing about how verses have helped/been a part of someone’s life. <3

  • I feel like I was reading about myself. I’m the worst emotional scorekeeper, but I’m trying so hard to better. Such a great post.

  • I’ve never really thought about what mercies meant either…reading that His kindness, forgiveness, compassion, & blessings are new every morning hits so much harder! I carry around my own emotional scorekeeping – against myself a lot of the time – that it’s easy to forget that Jesus does not do the same thing. What a beautiful, wonderful thing!

  • That’s one of my fave Bible verses. I seriously have to say it all the time to myself, because I tend to keep score as well (apparently Steve doesn’t know how to correctly wipe crumbs off the kitchen table). This is definitely something I’m working on…praise Jesus for such a forgiving man in my life!

    • I am dying laughing over here, hahahaha! (I’m almost afraid for our hubbies to be in the same room together… oh the stories they could share. ha!)