In the past two years of my life here in Chennai, I have come across many who put others before themselves, who go out of their way to help others, who can never say ‘No’ to any request. I really admire them especially because I lie on the other extreme end. I am someone whose default answer to any request for help is “NO.” In some cases I might say “I will try”, but that’s also effectively a “NO”. And in some other cases I will postpone it which is even worse than a “NO”. For me, my priorities and plans are most important. Rest everything comes after that. But during the last few days, the Lord has been trying to change me. And today morning, while praying, He taught me about the Mercy Quotient (MQ). Will let you know what it is, but before that I want to share how it all began.
Well, it all started on the night of 13th March, during the monthly Night Vigil prayer conducted by Jesus Youth in Chennai. One of my friends, who was leading the Praise and Worship asked us all two very simple questions to think about and then share.
- Think about an instance in which God has shown mercy on you.
- Think about an instance in which you have shown mercy on others.
The first question was easy and I had so many experiences to share, but the second question left me searching for an answer. I couldn’t think of a single incident in which I showed mercy on others. I was completely blank. And that is when it hit me so hard. All through the past few years, I have been receiving God’s loving mercy immensely, but I never shared it with anyone. I just kept it to myself. I was never bothered to go out of the way and help someone or sacrifice my happiness and make someone else happy or take that little bit of effort to make somebody’s day. It was always me and my comfort zone. But that night God showed me what to do.
After the midnight Mass, I rushed to the priest and confessed and no sooner did I repent was I filled with a desire to help, to share God’s mercy. And as it is with God, who always knows my slightest desires and fulfils it, He did it this time too. After the Hole Mass, my friend Praveen and I were coming back to the hostel at around 2 o’ Clock in the night. On the way back through a deserted road, we met a guy whose bike ran out of fuel and there was no petrol bunk anywhere nearby. Even we didn’t have enough fuel to share with him. Had it been the usual me, I would have suspected that guy to be a thug, refused to help him and just walked away. But this time we took a little bit of effort and made sure he reached were he wanted to go. Before we reached hostel we got a chance to help one more person. We were happy that God gave us a chance to help two persons. So the count stood at 2. But at that time, it was almost 3 am, we needed the watchman’s help to enter the hostel. And thankfully he helped. So Praveen said that, the net count is now 2-1 = 1. We were both very happy that at the end of the day we were able to help someone out. That night I hit the bed with a smile on my face and so much of peace in my heart.
And that’s how the Mercy Quotient came into being. This is what MQ is:
MQ = (Number of times you have helped someone) – (Number of times someone else has helped you)
For us that night it was, MQ = 2 – 1 = 1.
MQ can be calculated each day. And higher the MQ the better. The objective is to keep your MQ positive and do so by helping as many people as possible.
Caution: Don’t fall into the trap of
- Helping others just for the sake of helping without them actually needing it.
- Denying others who offer to help you, so that your MQ would be positive.
- Becoming complacent or proud once your MQ is constantly high
Remember, the entire focus of MQ is to be able to share God’s mercy, to go that extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face. It might be difficult to change all of a sudden. Trust me on this. But it will work if you are determined. For the past few days I have been consciously trying to improve my MQ by helping others. And it’s working. If you can’t do it on your own, ask the Holy Spirit to help you out. He surely will help you lend a helping hand.
And as Mother Teresa would say, “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” Let’s not help or give or serve out of compulsion, grumbling all the time; let’s do it with love. Sometimes it might be painful, but then it is nothing compared to the pain that Christ went through for each of us, so that we could receive God’s mercy.
So spread the Mercy of God and increase your Mercy Quotient every day. It might sound like a very simple thing, but it will surely change the way you look at life.
“Be merciful just as your heavenly Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)