I can hardly believe it’s time for “the holidays,” as we say in America. Christmas is almost here, and there is always a lot to do in preparation.
I pray your holidays are blessed…wherever you are!
Let’s look together at the “mercy” gifting, the seventh and final redemptive gift listed in Romans 12:6-8. This is where I landed personally when I went through the characteristics for all the redemptive gifts. I was amazed at how “at home” I felt reading about mercy!
If God has given you the gift of mercy, you most likely…
- Are a safe person for those who are wounded
- Make decisions from your heart
- Enjoy spending time soaking in God’s presence and encouraging others to do so as well
- Take up offenses on behalf of those you love
- Are sensitive to the emotional needs of others
- Process change slowly
- Are aware when things are not in proper alignment, whether it’s the furniture arrangement in a room, a couple’s relationship that isn’t right, or something that’s amiss in the spiritual realm
If you have the mercy gifting, it’s good for you to be aware of some potential challenges, such as a…
- Desire for intimacy and physical touch, potentially leading to impurity
- Tendency to enable others and protect them from pain or God’s discipline when He intends to build maturity and wholeness through their difficult circumstances
- Willingness to compromise and tolerate a mixture of holiness and unholiness, which results in failing to call people to do what is right
- Tolerance of abuse, exploitation, and injustice
Through prayer, study, and maturity, these challenges can be overcome. The main thing is to ask the Lord to help us see ourselves as we really are…warts and all. I know that can be difficult, but it’s a necessary part of the disciple’s life.
The Lord is always a Gentleman. He won’t show us all of our inadequacies at the same time. If we allow Him to do His work in us, He will begin with what He knows we can handle…one thing at a time. Remember: God is love, and love is patient, kind…gentle…long-suffering…and rejoices in the truth.
The Lord’s desire is for us to grow up to be fully mature in Him, understanding what it means to be a covenant son or daughter of God Most High!
A Work in Progress
I read a lot of books. I enjoy studying people, why they are the way they are and why they do what they do. By reading their stories, I learn so much about God and about them as I see their giftings coming through in how they live their lives.
Many times, when someone decides to write a book, it’s because they faced a crisis that brought them to the end of themselves. In desperation, they reached up to God in a fresh, new way, and He showed up big time!
Have you ever experienced this? I certainly have, and each time is an opportunity for me to get to know God better and grow in my relationship with Him. In Sylvia Gunter’s book, You Are Blessed, she writes about the Holy Spirit’s role in the ongoing process of spiritual maturity.
There is a process of being made complete in our spirit by the word of the Holy Spirit in us. Paul said, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB)…”being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
So we are a work in progress, marching toward the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus! I have so enjoyed discovering my spiritual DNA of mercy. Here are just two examples that illustrate my mercy gift:
- When I walk into a hotel, a grocery store, or any place, I immediately notice what needs to be cleaned, straightened, painted, or fixed. While most people would call me a perfectionist, now I understand that “alignment” is part of my mercy gift, and I can rest in that.
- When I spend time with the Lord in the early morning, I prefer to be outside in His beautiful creation. I could spend hours soaking in His majesty and goodness, and I have to pull myself away so I can get on with my responsibilities each day. I used to think I was a bit on the lazy side, but now I understand that I’m just responding to how God made me. I don’t beat myself up anymore when I have an opportunity to spend leisurely time in His presence.
Do you relate to these examples or the other points in this article? Or do you have a loved one who you believe may have this gift? If so, read below a special prayer of blessing for those who have the mercy gift.
In next month’s devotional, I’ll wrap up our yearlong series on the seven redemptive gifts. Until then, be blessed as you move forward in your growth in Christ!
Your friend on the journey,
Prayer of Blessing for Those Who Have the Mercy Gift
From Sylvia Gunter’s book, You Are Blessed
Mercy, I celebrate your inclination to savor and absorb the wonder in your world. You savor what God has done and is doing. I bless your ability to experience life differently. You delight to move at a pace that soaks in God’s majesty and goodness. Be blessed as you take time to ponder and enjoy His holy footprints during your day. God smiles as you revel in the beauty and glory around you and within you.
Be blessed for your ability to light up your environment with joy and celebration by the colors, fragrance, melody, and movement that you create. I bless your heart for worship and intimacy. Be blessed as you delight in God’s presence. He designed you to drink in His radiance and purity, and to bring a measure of that beauty and holiness to others.
I bless your totally different language, the language of the heart and the spirit that is sometimes too deep for words. You may have difficulty explaining “why.” I bless you to be free to say, “I don’t know why. I don’t know how I know…I just know.”
You can be sensitive, easily and deeply injured by the words and actions of others. I bless you to turn to God for healing and comfort when you are hurting. I bless how you make transitions slowly, based on emotional processing. It is not wrong, it’s uniquely you. I bless you as God takes you through this process in His time.
I bless your ability to feel deeply and love others with deep compassion. You are a safe person for wounded ones. Often you are the Good Samaritan, sensitive and responsive to the needs of the wounded when others pass by on the other side.
Be blessed in the name of Jesus, our righteous Ruler.
If you have a question for me about this topic or anything else that may be on your heart, write to me at [email protected].
This article is Part 11 in a series to help you better understand who God has uniquely gifted and designed you to be. Click the links below to read the other articles in the series.
Barbara Cerullo is devoted to authentically sharing God’s love with women. She authors From Barbara’s Heart, where her spiritual insights, heartwarming family stories, and delightful anecdotes encourage readers with God’s faithfulness. Her husband, David, is CEO of Inspiration Ministries.