There is an old tale about a man named Androcles. He was a runaway slave in Rome. He stopped and risked his life to help a wounded lion attending to his wounded paw. There was nothing in it for him, at least he thought.

Later, Androcles was caught, jailed, and sentenced to be killed by facing a lion. When he faced a lion in the great stadium, it just happened to be the one he had shown mercy towards. The lion refused to destroy or even injure Androcles. It may not be that every act of mercy will be reciprocated. The Biblical principle is true, however: "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy."

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.