When you hear someone talk about spiritual gifts, what immediately comes to mind? My first thought is the gift of preaching, and where would we be without good, biblically sound preaching of God's Word? Then I think about the gifts of teaching, healing, (doctors, nursing, care givers. And believe me, I do NOT have this special gift and I am SO thankful for those who do) administration, encouragement and all the others listed in 1 Corinthians 12. But in Romans 12:8 there is a gift that every believer has been given, but sadly, many times it is not developed into the the great gift of ministry that can do so much good for so many people. It is a gift that can often make the difference between healthy and unhealthy self-esteem, good parenting, a great marriage, and even life and death: It is the gift of "Mercy."
Talents and spiritual gifts are not the same. Everyone is born with certain talents and abilities and these are often related to the talents of our parents and grandparents. Musical talent, artistic ability, writing, etc. Much of our talent is inherited.
But spiritual gifts are only given to believers by the Holy Spirit and they are given to edify, or build up the body of believers, the church. And a woman with a spiritual gift that she uses for the glory of God is a woman who changes the world around her. For most believers, our spiritual gifts and talents work together to bring glory and honor to our Lord. But I know of many women who claim no particular talent, but are the most spiritually gifted people I know. Not everyone can be a preacher or teacher, doctor, nurse, or great administrator; but with prayer and a tender heart, ALL believers can be believers who show mercy in every situation.
Simply put, mercy is not saying the obvious; mercy knows when to keep silent; mercy knows when to "do" and not say; mercy knows when a hug, a hand warmly clasped, a kiss on the cheek, a look, a softly spoken word is all that is needed to say, "I am so sorry. I love you. I understand. How can I help?"
If you are a Christian, mercy is there. It may be sitting just below the surface, waiting to be nourished and cultivated, but it is there because you see, mercy identifies us with Christ. Mercy "helps" to explain grace. Mercy defines love as well as any one thing can define love.
Do you have the spiritual gift of mercy? Yes Ma'am you do. How do I develop it? You can't. The Holy Spirit gave it and He will develop it as we listen to His voice; as we follow His leadership; as we earnestly pray to be a woman who shows more mercy.
Here is the mercy test; how should mercy respond in each situation?
1. Your friend's husband looses his job and they have 3 children, school is starting, no income.
No mercy responds with; "What are y'all going to do? How will you pay your bills? Glad I'm not in your shoes. What did he do to loose his job?"
2. A lady in your Bible Study class just found out she has cancer.
No mercy responds with; Avoiding her. (Or) Asking her, "Are you still smoking?"
3. Your friend's son was arrested for a DUI;
No mercy responds: "I told you he was running with the wrong crowd."
"I knew this would happen when you turned him loose with his own car and those friends."
You see ladies, mercy doesn't say the obvious thing in any and every situation. Mercy doesn't judge. Mercy doesn't seek revenge. Mercy doesn't shame or hurt someones self esteem or their feelings. Mercy doesn't take advantage of someone when she is hurting. Mercy isn't hateful, sarcastic........mean.
Do you want mercy? Give it. Mercy is one of those spiritual gifts and disciplines that the more we give mercy, the more mercy we receive.
So today ladies, let's look for opportunities to show a little mercy please.
Love you. Have a great day.