Anger is powerful. Punishing people who have hurt you is desirable. Revenge sounds sweet. But in the end, anger and revenge consume you more than anyone and anything else.
When someone brings you loss and grief, the wish to destroy them as much as they destroyed you occupies your entire mind and soul.
You can think of nothing but bringing them down and hurting them.
The desire to take revenge impacts every aspect of your life, and there is no way that is healthy.
All the energy and feelings you put into giving your enemy a taste of their own medicine might not even be worth it in the end.
That is why people sometimes decide to welcome forgiveness, compassion, and mercy. Because nothing can compensate for what you have lost, not even taking something from your enemy in return.
You can try to punish them for what they have done, but it does not guarantee that you will not feel as empty as before. As we said, anger is powerful.
But letting your anger go and starting afresh is even more powerful.
We have gathered seven inspiring stories of mercy in this article to show you that people who forgive are not weak or timid.
The most courageous people in the world are the ones who forgive because they have realized that showing their wrath does not help anybody, especially themselves.
Read these stories of mercy, let them touch your hearts, and believe in the power of forgiveness. Also, if you are struggling with negativity we recommend you to read how to avoid negativity blog.
7 Stories of Mercy And Forgiveness
These are the stories that help you see another side to being hurt and abused.
Reading these stories is a starting point to realize that you have a chance to grow even in the face of disrespect, indecency, or even cruelty.
The following stories will show you how you can use an opportunity to be the bigger person, even when it seems hard or even impossible.
Showing mercy is not a sign of weakness but the greatness of your soul.
Here are the 7 inspiring stories of mercy:
Mercy On A Thief
Bankei Yotaku, a Japanese Zen master, forgave a thief for stealing in the most inspiring way. He once went into seclusion for weeks, and people from all over Japan came to learn from him and take part in the seclusion.
But soon, they began to notice that someone was stealing things in this gathering.
They immediately informed Bankei, but he was not willing to take any action against the thief.
This incident happened the next day, too; the pupils caught the man stealing again and told Bankei about it. Once again, Bankei ignored the whole incident and did not do anything to the thief.
Finally, people objected that they could not go on with the seclusion and mediation when they knew a thief was among them.
Everyone asked Bankei to take the matter into his hands and expel the thief. No one was willing to stay unless the thief went away.
These were Bankei’s words when everyone asked him to take action and stop the thief:
“Brothers, you are wise. You know what is right and what is wrong. This brother of ours, does not know right from wrong like you. If I do not teach him, then who will? I am not going to expel him. Even if it means that you all will leave, I am going to keep him beside me.”
The thief, of course, heard everything and was greatly impressed by Bankei’s compassion and big heart. He burst into tears and swore to himself that he would never steal ever again.
Even something like burglary, which seems rather a small deed compared to more significant matters, can show you how much better people have in their hearts and how good they are capable of being.
Bankei decided to forgive the thief even if it meant that no pupil would ever attend his sessions of seclusion anymore.
But he did it to prove that goodness, forgiveness, and patience are always stronger than any form of punishment.
Mercy On Your Killers
This story is from The Bible, but it is awe-inspiring and admirable that we could not possibly decide to leave it out.
Saint Stephen, who many consider the very first Christian martyr, was falsely accused of blasphemy and stoned to death by the Jewish council in Jerusalem.
His death was sorrowful and heart-wrenching. Yet his martyrdom was majestic because his final words before falling into eternal sleep were:
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts of the Apostles 7:60)
In his last moments, through his last words, he prayed to God not to charge his attackers who took his life so brutally with his death.
What can be more breathtaking than this act of mercy and compassion?
Mercy On A Drunk Driver
Great acts of forgiveness and mercy do not only come from saints and great masters.
Ordinary people like us have also shown forgiveness in the most courageous ways possible, and this story is about one of them.
In February 2007, Chris Williams and his family got into a fatal accident. In that accident, Chris lost his 11-year-old son, his 9-year old daughter, and his pregnant wife.
He witnessed his family leaving him one by one in this world, left with pain and grief.
Yet the thoughts Chris revealed of having in the moments of being in physical and spiritual pain, even before anyone could come to his rescue, were the thoughts that could easily shock so many people.
“Whoever has done this to us, I forgive them. I don’t care what the circumstances were, I forgive them.”
The driver who caused the accident, a drunk 17-year-old teenager, was later found by the police.
It is so easy not to drink while driving. To stop reckless behavior, we only should resist the urge.
So it is safe to say that the drunk driver did not accidentally cause this tragic story but deliberately chose to risk his own and someone else’s life. Even though, Chris Williams kept his word.
He forgave the driver and let go.
What is worse than seeing your family’s last breath with your own eyes?
What can be worse than watching your whole world turn into crumbles because someone was not smart enough to not drive with an unclear mind?
Not many of us can handle this painful fate like Chris Williams.
He showed a sense of mercy and forgiveness beyond comprehension.
He could have ruined his life with anger and bitterness, but he decided to be a man so big that none could imagine.
Mercy On An Enemy
Wars, especially a war as destructive as World War II, are hardly the places for bold acts of compassion.
Yet, one German soldier proved this idea to be wrong.
In 1943, German fighters had severely damaged the B-17 Flying Fortress (named “Ye Olde Pub,) under the control of Lieutenant Charlie Brown.
The worst part was the damaged compass that was leading the plane to the territory of the enemy.
Franz Stigler, the German pilot, was ordered to shoot down B-17 and destroy the enemy.
But as he got closer to the flying fortress, he saw that the plane was in a truly terrible state.
He also saw how Brown was desperately trying to save himself from the dangerous situation that could end his life.
Franz Stigler could have destroyed Brown as he was ordered to, but instead, he decided to guide and escort the B-17 outside to a safe zone not occupied by the Germans.
He even saluted Brown before heading back and telling everyone he had shot down the B-17 and the lieutenant he, in fact, protected.
Almost 50 years later, Brown searched for his savior.
When the two met again, they became friends and remained friends until Stigler passed away in March 2008, followed by Brown’s death only a few months later.
Franz Stigler later said that he couldn’t shoot Brown and his plane because they had flown beside each other for a long time and Brown was desperate to return home.
He saw the situation the same as shooting a man in a parachute.
Stigler’s act of mercy was genuinely courageous. He could have easily destroyed the enemy and taken credit for it.
Instead, he decided to protect a brave man who had fought his battle and now only wanted to get back to a safe place.
He risked being found out and getting burdened with the blame of disobeying orders and saving someone who was considered the enemy.
But he decided to show mercy and prove that even the soldiers handling the toughest tasks could have a big heart and show humanity.
Mercy On A Shooter
Steven McDonald, a young policeman, was shot by a teenager in Central Park and ended up paralyzed. Yet, he decided to forgive the teenager.
None of us can put ourselves in his shoes and the situation he had to live in after the incident, but he was strong enough to show a big heart and forgive someone who might have ruined his life if his victim was not a brave man with a big heart.
What was more impressive than the story were the words McDonald told everyone later:
“I forgave him because I believe the only thing worse than receiving a bullet in my spine would have been to nurture revenge in my heart.”
Steven saw getting consumed with revenge worse than being paralyzed, which is why he even corresponded with his attacker when he was in prison and hoped to show the world how forgiveness can make the world a better place with his help.
Steven’s plans did not turn out as he wished since his attacker lost his life in an accident three days after serving his time in prison. But he continued to travel around the country to spread his message until he passed away in 2017.
Mercy On A Friend
Rachelle Friedman was supposed to marry the love of her life in a few days when she and her friends decided to go for a midnight swim in the pool on the night of her bachelorette party.
But what one of her friends did as a joke ended up changing Rachelle’s life forever.
Her friend playfully pushed Rachelle into the pool without actually considering how shallow that part of the pool could be.
Unfortunately, this act of playfulness that was meant to be a joke only for a few seconds and make them all laugh brought them fear and tears.
Rachelle’s head hit the bottom of the pool, her neck broke, and she was paralyzed from her neck down.
A bachelorette party that should have been filled with joy and excitement ended up being ruined by a horrifying accident.
Fortunately, things did not turn out so bad for Rachelle.
After a year, she married her fiancé, who loved her so much to care about her injury.
The truly inspiring thing about this story was how Rachelle held no grudge against her friend who pushed her in the pool, decided to forgive her, and continued to love her.
Rachelle said that previously she had done what her friend did as a joke. She had even pushed the same friend playfully and had a laugh about it.
Rachelle accepted that what happened was no one’s fault and looked at the whole thing as an accident.
It is not easy to forgive someone who changes your life this drastically. But Rachelle chose love over hatred and inspired many people with her courageous act.
Forgiveness On Two Mischievous Boys
Mary Hedges’ visit to the mall with her son to buy candy for children on Halloween changed her life forever.
Two teenage boys who were playing around in the mall pushed a grocery cart from the second story over the railing.
What they did brought Mary a severe brain injury and blinded her in one eye.
Mary went into a coma for weeks, but she decided to forgive the boys who hurt her when she woke up.
She sympathized with them because she had a 13-year-old son, and as a mother to a boy, she could not wish any bad thing for two other boys who had their own mothers.
Mary’s decision showed her big heart and how she chose to forgive instead of staying bitter.
She proved to be an amazing mother and an even more amazing person.
Her inspiring story of forgiveness teaches everyone to put kindness above everything else.
Forgiving can be hard. But it is life-changing. All these people could have chosen to take revenge or punish people who have hurt them instead of giving us these beautiful, inspiring stories of mercy and compassion.
But this is not how people with big hearts live their lives.
They forgive. They say no to being filled up with anger and hatred because they know they are the ones that take the most damage from these feelings.
These people chose to live their lives in the best way possible after their loss, and so should we because revenge is sweet and powerful, but mercy and forgiveness are immortal.