My daughter, Kate, has not yet completed her spiritual gifts assessment, but I’m pretty sure when she does, mercy will show up as one of her prominent gifts. I first noticed this when she was a teenager. She often had friends who were needy or underprivileged in some way. She wanted to volunteer at the local rescue mission. She wanted to help others, even when my husband and I, as her parents, were afraid that doing so was risky for her. I couldn’t understand sometimes, why she was so set on people and activities that might lead her into undesirable environments. It finally dawned one me– Kate has the gift of mercy! She is naturally drawn to the people who need her the most.
That helped me tremendously. As her mother, I still had to guide her until she learned to use that gifts in ways that were appropriate for her age and situation; but I also had to allow her some room to exercise that God-given ability when she could.
Here’s how the Fanning the Flame workbook describes the gift of mercy. Do you have this gift? If so, the Lutheran Ladies would like to hear from you.
Literal Meaning: To have compassion
Description: The gift of mercy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals, both Christian and non-Christian, who suffer distressing physical, mental or emotional problems, and to translate that compassion into cheerfully done deeds that reflect Christ’s love and alleviate the suffering.
q Focus upon alleviating the sources of pain or discomfort in suffering people
q Address the needs of the lonely and forgotten
q Extend love, grace, and dignity to those facing hardships and crisis
q Serve in difficult or unsightly circumstances and do so cheerfully
q Concern themselves with individual or social issues that oppress people
|q||Empathetic||q||Need to be aware that rescuing people from their|
|q||Caring||pain may be hindering God’s work in them|
|q||Responsive||q||Need to guard against feeling “unappreciated,” since|
|q||Kind||some of the people helped will not show or express|
|q||Sensitive||q||Should guard against becoming defensive and angry|
|q||Burden-bearing||about the sources of others’ pain|
References: Acts 16:33-34; Matthew 5:7; Romans 12:8; Hebrews 4:16