At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (KJV).
A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (NKJV).Proverbs 12:10
This proverb is telling that that kindness of a righteous man extends into everything, including his treatment of his animals. On the flip side, the cruelty of a wicked man extends into everything, even into those things that he would call merciful.
A man is what he is in all of his relationships, in other words. He reveals who he is in all of his dealings, whether great or small.
When we are living in a delusional state, we like to believe that we can turn our behavior on and off, like it was on a switch. Kindness is called for “here,” and so I will leave the switch on. It is not so necessary over there, because I am just alone at home with my dog, so I don’t have to worry about it. But life doesn’t work in that way. Wherever you go, there you are.
You may treat someone cruelly, and call it something else—“necessary firmness,” for example—but Scripture speaks to us with necessary firmness. The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. And a righteous man may do something thoughtful for his cattle, and not think anything of it.
This is the basic difference between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous do good things that they don’t even notice. ““Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?” (Matthew 25:37, NKJV). Their righteousness was displayed in their kindness to the “least of these.” And the wicked will try to justify themselves because they did not recognize that their “tender mercies” to the downtrodden, which were actually cruelties, were reckoned by Christ as having been done to Him.