Grace vs Mercy: Difference and Comparison

While exclusively talking about grace and mercy, they are commonly understood to be attributes of love, in the words of the Christian faith. Both of these concepts are considered to be of utmost importance in the Bible, in Christianity and even in today’s world of evil and wrongdoings.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Grace is the unmerited favor or kindness a higher power bestows, particularly in the context of divine love and forgiveness in Christianity.
  2. Mercy is the compassionate treatment of someone suffering or facing punishment, often involving forgiveness or leniency.
  3. While both concepts involve compassion and forgiveness, grace emphasizes the undeserved nature of kindness, while mercy focuses on alleviating suffering or punishment.

Grace vs Mercy

In understandable words, grace is the opposite of karma, where karma means getting all that one deserves, and grace signifies getting what one doesn’t really deserve. It can also be explained as the unmerited favour of someone, especially God.

On the other hand, mercy can be explained with pity, compassion and forgiveness. It is a compassionate love for the weak and is believed to be the path to forgiveness.

Grace vs Mercy

Both of them are two sides of one coin, and the coin is that of love. They are generally understood from the view of God or the Almighty having grace and mercy on the weak and unworthy humans.


Comparison Table

MeaningGrace is actually the act of endowing favours which are unmerited or undeserved.Mercy is the act of withholding punishment which someone deserves.
Related wordsGrace can be explained through favour.Mercy can be explained through pity or compassion, or forgiveness.
Root wordsGrace has a Greek root in the word ‘Charmis’, meaning favour.Mercy also has a Greek root in the word ‘Eleos’ meaning pity or compassion.
Relates toGrace, in the typical sense, relates to someone who is unworthy or undeserving.Mercy, in the typical sense, relates to someone who is weak.
Leads toIt is generally believed that grace leads to reconciliation.It is widely believed that mercy takes one to the path of forgiveness.


What is Grace?

Grace comes from the Greek word ‘Charmis’, which means favour. In terms of God, He, in his grace, gives us, the humans, a gift which we ideally do not deserve, i.e., heaven.

Grace is believed to be one of the essential concepts in the Bible, in Christianity and even in the world. It is an attribute of love, just like the essence of the Bible is to love God and the people through Christ’s lens.

Grace is explained mainly from God’s perspective in the sense that the Almighty, even though the most powerful, has a marvellous love for humans or his children, which He demonstrates through grace and mercy. Grace is an act of bequeathing favour that we do not work for, i.e., unmerited or undeserved.

In other words, grace is a generous and kind love to those who are unworthy, in the typical sense. Owing to the entire concept of grace, deeply embedded in the Christian faith, there are numerous examples of grace in The Bible.

Many people have described grace differently. Some of them are: “a free sovereign favour to the ill-deserving”, “a love that cares and stoops and rescues” and “an unconditional love towards a person who does not deserve it”.


What is Mercy?

Mercy comes from the Greek word ‘Eleos’, which means pity or compassion. In terms of God, in His mercy, He does not give us the punishment that we deserve.

Mercy is the base of many of Jesus’ teachings. In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus shares a story, the story of the ‘unmerciful servant’.

The servant has been called unmerciful because even though his debts have been rubbed off, he is not willing to forgive another servant who owes him an absolutely tiny amount of money. This story is the idea behind mercy, which teaches us how it is important to forgive others because we have also been forgiven.

Bible says that mercy is important because everyone needs forgiveness and compassion. However, it will not be wrong to say that mercy is of great importance also because it is something which can join and bring everyone together despite several differences.

Mercy is an act of withholding punishment to those who deserve it and forgiving them, mainly because of the idea that we have also been forgiven for something in our life. Mercy is a profound concept and idea but starts with small acts of understanding each other and cultivating a habit of forgiving each other.


Main Differences Between Grace and Mercy

Grace and mercy are two sides of a coin, and the coin is that of love. In other words, grace and mercy are just two components of love or of giving love. Even so, there are a few differences in the literal meaning of grace and mercy.

  1. While grace is concerned with the act of giving, mercy relates to the act of forgiving for a previous act.
  2. Grace is understood as bestowing somebody with a favour they might not deserve. In contrast, mercy can be understood as portraying compassion towards somebody and forgiving them for some wrongdoing they might have knowingly or unknowingly done.
  3. A word to describe grace would be unmerited favour, and a word to describe mercy would be forgiveness or compassion.
  4. Grace has to do with somebody who does not deserve something but is still given that thing, while mercy has to do with somebody who seeks forgiveness for an act performed.
  5. Lastly, grace is believed to lead to reconciliation, and mercy is believed to lead to the path of forgiveness.
Difference Between Grace and Mercy
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