Difference Between Mercy and Grace

Mercy vs Grace

Mercy and Grace are two words that are often confused due to similarity in their meanings and connotations. Mercy is compassion or forbearance shown to law-breakers or offenders. Compassion shown to enemies in one’s power is also called mercy. An act of mercy is committed or performed out of pity. Mercy killing is administered out of mercy for a suffering person. The word ‘mercy’ is derived from the Latin ‘merces’ which means ‘pity’.

Grace on the other hand is the unmerited favor of God. In other words it can be said that the word ‘grace’ refers to a divine saving and strengthening influence on one’s life. Grace is the state of receiving such a divine favor of God.

Merit dictates mercy where as grace is characterized by unmerited favor of the Almighty. Mercy is directed towards the sinners whereas grace is directed on the befitting. For example one has to be showered by the grace of the God of Love for the lovers to unite. Hence grace is directed towards the deserving and the befitting.

One of the most important differences between mercy and grace is that mercy is a matter of justice whereas grace is not a matter of justice. The judge in the court shows mercy on the offender but he does not show grace on him. Grace is not part of justice thinking. God’s grace is undetectable until expressed. Sometimes the grace of God is expressed as forgiveness quite apart from whether we deserve to be forgiven. On the other hand all sinners are eligible for the mercy of God.

Philosophers and thinkers believe that God alone is capable of showing both grace and mercy to people.