“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

This statement by Jesus illustrates the nature of our identity.

We are each a child of the Supreme Being

We are His individual creations. Though He has imbued us with individuality and freedom of choice, we are still of the same nature as He. Being of that same nature, we have the same propensity for love, mercy and compassion.

Though we do not maintain the perfection of these propensities as does the Supreme Being, we nevertheless have the ability to advance a quality of these propensities to those around us.

While requesting the Supreme Being's mercy and compassion, it is contradictory to not extend mercy and compassion to others. This was also expressed by Jesus in a statement referred to as the “golden rule:”
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matt. 7:12)
This concept prevails amongst every teaching of the prophets as well as teachings among other scriptures of the world.

God is merciful

As this applies to mercy and the Supreme Being, we are speaking of a relationship. The Supreme Being is not an impersonal being. Just as we have a personality and we have things we like and don't like, the Supreme Being also has the same.

But the difference is that the Supreme Being is the Supreme Being. He is in control and can provide mercy or not as He wishes.

In other words, God is not a robot. He is also not our waiter. He is in charge and we are His subjects.

Nonetheless, He still bestowed upon us the freedom of choice. Each of us has the choice to love Him or even recognize Him, or not.

This choice is required for love. No one can be forced to love. As such, God gave us the choice to love Him or not.

That choice is reflected throughout our lives. We can choose to act in a way that hurts others or act in a way that is kind and merciful to others. It is our choice.

Self-centeredness opposes God's position

Actions that hurt others simply reflect our choice not to recognize the Supreme Being. They reflect our self-centeredness.

This is because self-centeredness is the polar opposite of love for the Supreme Being.

Thus when we choose to be helpful to others - merciful in other words - we are choosing to align ourselves with the loving nature of the Supreme Being. The loving nature that we inherited from Him.

And such a loving nature towards others will attract the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is attracted by activities that are merciful to others because He Himself is merciful.

Therefore, when we are helpful and merciful to others, we also become closer with the Supreme Being.

So does this mean feeding the poor? Yes, it can mean that. But being merciful should also include understanding just who we intend to be merciful to.

In other words, we should understand who we are and who others are.

So let's say that a starving man came to us and asked us for food. Would we get some gas from the gas station and fill his gar with gas? If so, how would that help his hunger?

In the same way, realizing that we are not the physical body is important. Certainly helping others in their physical needs is being merciful.

But understanding that we need spiritual food is critical to truly helping others.

Spiritual food means re-establishing our lost relationship with the Supreme Being. We can help each other achieve this by praising God and reminding each other that we can only be happy if we re-establish our loving relationship with Him. This is confirmed in Jesus' teachings:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)