“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead…a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these…was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
A person with the gift of mercy joyfully, practically, and compassionately helps those in need. The basic motivational drive is to sense and respond to the emotional and spiritual needs of others with love and understanding.
Do you have the Spiritual Gift of Mercy?
• Are you kind and gentle?
• Can you sense how others are feeling? Do you sense the spiritual and emotional atmosphere around you?
• Are you interested in learning doctrine for the purpose of acting on in obedience?
• Are you drawn to other sensitive people or people in distress?
• Do you feel you MUST pray? Is it an expression of your heart to God to release your emotions?
People with this gift:
• Express love, grace, and dignity to those facing hardships and crisis
• Focus on alleviating sources of pain or discomfort in suffering people
• Address the needs of the lonely and forgotten, unlovable, ill, wounded in spirit, handicapped, elderly, the out-of-fellowship or rebellious
• Serve cheerfully in difficult or unsightly circumstances
• Concern themselves with individual or social issues that oppress people.
A Mercy’s Weaknesses- taken from Institute in Basic Life principles (iblp.org)
• Mercies can be indecisive, tossed to and fro by their emotions. (See James 1:5–8.)
• Mercy-givers can easily allow others to become dependent on them, when the individuals should be dependent on God. They often become rescuers of those who do not need to be rescued.
• The mercy-giver’s warmth can be falsely interpreted as personal, intimate affection. They must learn to temper their demonstration of affections based on the mindset of those to whom they are ministering. If they fail to do this, both parties may be led into temptation.
• Mercies are quick to take up others’ offenses, which can quickly lead to anger and bitterness.
• Because mercy-givers try to avoid conflict of any kind, they often avoid confrontation that is needed. Mercy-givers would rather hide from or ignore their enemies than confront them, even when they are in authority over those enemies. Delaying the inevitable always leads to more trouble—for everyone.
• Immature or rebellious mercies tend to be harsh and impatient, reflecting their own self-condemnation by lashing out at others whom they judge to be as weak or sinful as they are.
• Mercies tend to be introspective. As a person who is sensitive to hurts, it is easy for him to become overly sensitive to his own. If a mercy falls into this trap, he will wallow in past offenses, cling to past bitterness, and dwell on past mistakes or sins.
• It is easy for mercies to develop a poor self-image, since they tend to be introspective and remain acutely aware of their own failures. The longer the mercy dwells on his failures, the more worthless and wicked he feels.
• Mercies tend to be worriers as a result of focusing on their own failures.
Those who have the gift of Mercy minister, often invisibly, to the congregation and to so many beyond our walls. They do not take sin lightly, and embrace humility and are aware of their own weakness and failures.
SUGGESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING THE SPIRITUAL GIFT OF MERCY:
• Read and study similar information about the other 6 spiritual motivational gifts: prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving and organization.
• Content from https://svpc.us, Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church and the Institute in Basic Life principles (iblp.org)
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