Developing a relationship with God and experiencing His character gives us an understanding of how His mercy impacts our lives. Knowing Him reveals His forgiveness and compassion toward everyone, whether saved or unsaved. God has the power to punish and harm us, but instead chooses to love us and be merciful. This is illustrated with Jonah, with whom He showed great compassion. When God gave Jonah a mission Jonah disobeyed, initially ignored Him, and died while trying to run away; however, when Jonah changed his mind God showed him mercy. Experiencing God’s forgiveness and understanding His loving, compassionate nature completely changes our perception of Him.