Difference Between Grace and Mercy

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.

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 favor of someone, especially God.

Mercy, on the other hand, can be explained with the words pity, compassion and forgiveness. It is a compassionate love to the weak and is believed to be the path of 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 Between Grace and Mercy (in Tabular Form)

MeaningGrace is actually the act of endowing favours which are unmerited or undeserved.Mercy is the act of withholding punishment which is deserved by someone.
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 typical sense, relates to someone who is unworthy or undeserving.Mercy, in 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 favor. In terms of God, He, in his grace, give us, the humans, a gift which we ideally do not deserve, i.e., heaven.

Grace is believed to be one of the most important 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 largely explained from the God’s perspective in the sense that the Almighty, even though the most powerful, has a marvellous love for the humans or his children which He demonstrates through grace and mercy. Grace is an act, an act of bequeathing favor which 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 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. It is in the Gospel of Mathew that 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 owed him an absolutely tine 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 forgive them, mainly because of the idea that we have also been forgiven for something in our life. Mercy is a very deep 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 whereas 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



Grace and mercy are two beautiful attributes of love which have in them to make the world a better place to live in. Both of them are considered to be the qualities that God possesses and urges everyone to abide by them too.

Grace is the act of giving favours to somebody who might not deserve them while mercy is the act of forgiving somebody who might, knowingly or unknowingly, have done a wrongdoing. Grace and mercy, both form an evident part of The Bible and the Christian faith.

They are believed to be things which are deep to understand but start with small acts of understanding and helping and forgiving each other, to achieve the greatest experiences of love in our lives.

Key Differences Between Grace and Mercy (PDF Format)

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Difference Between Grace and Mercy



  1. https://www.pdcnet.org/southernjphil/content/southernjphil_1983_0021_0002_0229_0250
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy/article/mercy-and-legal-justice/D6DF6179F9F3B04D9B45B94C31804F6C
  3. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/modlr60&section=50
  4.  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/002096430005400203
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