The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
– Proverbs 11:17
The word for merciful means kindness and also carries the thought of faithfulness. The word for cruel means merciless. The two are contrasted as well as their effects. The point of the proverb is the effect attitudes and actions have on the person more than on others (Proverbs 15:27). By mercy, a man does good to his own soul. Cruelty stirs up and disturbs a man’s own body.