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Mitigation Ministries

I've been thinking about the ministry of mercy lately. You know; when you your friend messes up and they're down and out and they don't want to ask anyone for help. They missed the mark and he or she avoids going to church and stops associating with their Christian friends including you. It's then you need to go to your Christian brother or sister with mercy.

Romans 12: 4-8 looks at various ministries in the body of Christ. Verse 8 mentions, "he that showeth mercy" as a ministry.
4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines mercy as "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm."

It is not within our power to harm other Christians. However, we can share God's mercy with our downtrodden brothers and sisters. I was looking for a  particular verse on mercy from the Bible and found several more along the way and decided to include them all.
Ephesians 2:4-5  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Psalm 57:10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
Psalm 86:5  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Psalm 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalm 89:1-3   I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
Psalm 94:18  When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
Psalm 100:5  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
We can share mercy through an act or an encouraging word. People may need to be admonished as well as encouraged. But, if we admonish someone to remind them of their duties or obligations, we also need to follow up with, "God loves you forever no matter what you did and will take you back regardless of the number of times you fall."

I was thinking of mitigation as being part of mercy. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Mitigate means, 1: to cause to become less harsh or hostile: mollify 2: to make less severe or painful: alleviate. I believe mitigation also implies salvaging the most good you can from a given situation. It's when the best you can do for someone at a given time is not God's best but there is a lot of "worse" you can help them avoid.

For someone addicted to drugs and alcohol, mercy must be delivered with clear defined boundaries. They are in a position where they will have go through something similar to the mountaineer who had to cut off his arm to free himself to save his life.

I thank God for those rushing in to assist those ravaged by tornadoes to mitigate their devastation.

Someone going through the dark period of divorce needs to navigate a lonely path to health and needs wise advice along the way to avoid making things worse than they have to be.

What got me thinking about mitigation being part of the ministry of mercy was an article by a family law attorney by the name of David T. Pisarra. He offers some balanced advice in Welcome To The Danger Zone.  I was interested in this article because my brother in law is going through a divorce. The advice Mr. Pisarra gave would help him. It got me to thinking the position Mr Pisarra is in as a family law attorney to minister to people at such a vulnerable time.

His client is going through a divorce, knows he's hurting himself and his family, feels like a failure, may have stopped going to church, and may have stopped associating with his Christian friends. There is a place of ministry, even if it is not called "ministry," for a family law attorney who provides his clients objective, balanced, and wise direction. I don't know about David Pisarra's faith. However, I do know that God can show mercy through an attorney to their client during this time to mitigate harm and to salvage the most good for the client, his ex, and his children.

God not only wants to use attorneys but all of us in every profession in the furthest fringes of society and circumstance to show mercy, to mitigate harm, and reclaim the salvageable good. I think a good name for a ministry would be, "Mitigation Ministries."

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