One of the most profound character traits of God is His mercy. For God to step through the curtain of time and interact with humanity required mercy. Mercy reveals the deep love of God for people who do not yet love Him and for those who profess to love Him, but do not. Mercy meets people in the place of their greatest brokenness and embraces them with words of hope.
To be effective in long-term prophetic ministry requires a heart of mercy. This heart is developed in people who have not forgotten the original mercy God extended to them. Whenever our words become distant from this recollection we can begin to speak in flippant and unloving ways. When this happens our words become verbal hammers that bruise and wound people.
In order to defend against this potential abuse it is important to create a definition of mercy written from within the memory of your greatest failure and eventual restoration. This will keep you honest and real. Paul never forgot where he came from. The Road to Damascus was not just a road linking cities – it was a place when a self-righteous and unmerciful Paul was introduced to the God of heaven.
Before we speak for God we need to remember what it was like to feel abandoned and then redeemed. We need to recall what if was like to live trapped in sin and what it felt like to finally be set free. A prophetic voice that forgets these realities will eventually become unkind and unloving in their content and delivery. Unmerciful words spoken “in the name of God” create confusion in the hearers and grief in the heart of God. Words of mercy will always triumph over words of judgment.