Quite often people think that mercy means exactly the same thing like grace. What is the difference between mercy and grace? Suppose one has stolen one's neighbor's goat. Fortunately, the neighbor finds out. For that unlawful act one must receive a punishment as 1/ pay 1000 Dollars fine or 2/ receive twenty-four lashes in a public place. One deserves the punishment according to the law, but if one is forgiven and one does not have to pay or receive the 24 lashes then one has effectively received mercy. Mercy therefore is the act of forgiveness that one has received after one has done something wrong that merits a punishment.
In United States, it is a custom that an incumbent president forgive few prisoners as he is leaving office. In 2016 Barack Obama has forgiven Chelsea Manning. In that case one will say that Chelsea Manning is a beneficiary of a mercy.
Christian believes that God is merciful because, God redeemed them from their sins and they do not have to go to hell after the judgement day. A sinner deserves to go to hell but if he receives mercy from God he will not perish anymore.
What Is Grace?
Though grace is similar to mercy, it is not the same thing. Suppose one only deserves to live in a bed room flat but one is given instead three bedrooms. One has received three bedrooms by grace because one is only untitled to one bedroom. So grace is about getting what one does not really work for or deserve.
Grace is the act of rewarding a person that does not deserve the reward in a normal condition.
Main Difference Between Grace And Mercy
Grace is relating to an undeserved entitlement but mercy is about undeserved freedom from a punishment. If one is supposed to receive a life time imprisonment for breaking the law, but one only gets one year, one is a beneficiary of mercy. However if one deserved to receive a salary without bonus but one is giving a salary and bonus that will be a grace. One can receive grace and mercy at the same time.
For example a bi-national whose nationality is revoked because he becomes a criminal if he receives mercy for his criminal acts, that will also restore his rights as a normal citizen. By losing his citizenship, he has effectively lost his entitlements. In this instance the mercy has also given him the grace to recover his entitlements.
All in all the mercy allows one to avoid a well deserved punishment while grace gives more than one is entitled to. Now, is the mercy superior to the grace? Does mercy always lead to grace? If you were given the choice to chose between grace and mercy what you would prefer? Would you prefer Grace rather than mercy and why?