The Spiritual Gift of Mercy
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Romans 12:8e (Holman) . . .showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
When we see the word “mercy” in the New Testament, always associate it with the word “misery.” The gift of mercy entails relieving misery in others.
Anyone with the gift of mercy is tender, yea pulled, toward hurting people. Mercy uses pity, kindness, and compassion to relieve misery, to ease burdens of the sick and dying, bereaved and lonely, persecuted and poor, distressed and sad.
This gift can help several of our ministries: bereavement meals, shut-ins, Victory Mission meals, Flower and Bread Ministry, DivorceCare, Foster Care and Adoption, Special Needs, Medical Responders, Stephen Ministry, Quilting, Second Yarn Works, the Rare Breed shelter for homeless teens, Pregnancy Care Center.
The spiritual gift of mercy is beautiful. Nevertheless, it has at least three dangers to avoid. One, actions without feelings. Attitude must precede action.
Christ-followers often try to do kind deeds solely from a sense of duty or guilt. Knowing we are supposed to be merciful, we try to force mercy rather than let it overflow from a heart full of compassion.
Quintilian, the Roman orator, deemed it cruelty to feed the poor without sympathizing with them. We are not to help others as if throwing bones to a dog.
A Christian has to ma