I Know Some Servants … with the Spiritual Gift of Mercy

The Spiritual Gift of Mercy Defined

to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but more caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress

Servant #1:  He was a teenager, one with ADHD.  He would often find himself in trouble at school and at church.  He could be self-absorbed, self-gratifying, and lacking in self-control.  Yet, when he saw someone in need, his heart went out to them and he wanted to do something to help.

Servant #2: In her eighties, she would visit people in nursing homes.  “Those poor old souls,” you could hear her say, as she pondered the conditions some of them were experiencing.  Her heart ached over their loneliness and losses and she wanted to be there to comfort them and let them know that someone cared.

Both of these servants were in a stage of life that presented their own needs, yet when they saw others in need were able to step outside of themselves with the compassion of Christ.  These individuals were years apart, yet both served the Lord.  Gifts are not age specific.  Nor are they held back from those with special needs or disabilities.  When it comes to having or using spiritual gifts, the issue is if you know the Lord.

Lesson to be learned:

Let’s provide opportunity for all to serve.  Children and teens who know the Lord have much to offer right now.  They are members of the church of today, not merely the church of tomorrow.  We should come alongside of them, mentoring and discipling them to use their gifts.  Our senior citizens should not be shelved simply because they are old.  They have much to offer.  The psalmist wrote “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Ps. 71:18).  Proverbs 16:31 adds, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor.”  And, people with special needs often teach us and minister in our lives so much more than we might imagine.  Particularly when it comes to spiritual gifts, why wouldn’t we expect God to use believers with special needs?  Do we really get that a spiritual gift is a “divine empwerment bestowed on each believer”?

15 thoughts on “I Know Some Servants … with the Spiritual Gift of Mercy

  1. I really felt that I had no gift. I am a disabled nurse who has not given much because I have just come to know the Lord and not being able to walk very well I also felt I had nothing to give. Taking a spiritual gifts test and finding that my gift was mercy and then reading the above examples I now know that I can make it to a place where I can show mercy to others without walking very much. Thank you for this.

    • You are most welcome, Barb. How I praise God for leading you to the site. I firmly believe that until God takes us from this earth, He has a purpose for each of us to accomplish here regardless of age, physical condition, how long we’ve know Him, or a multitude of other factors. It might not be the way we used to serve. It might not be in the conventional way. It might not be in the way others serve. But, we have a sovereign, powerful, and creative God who can use us in ways we may never think of as we put our trust in Him to work in and through us. We sometimes try to box God in by limiting how spiritual gifts can be used, rather than being open to whatever He has in store for us. We sometimes try to fight against God because we can’t do certain things, rather than be content in what He enables us to do. We all need to remember that He is the Potter and we are the clay. In His hands, we will be a vessel shaped to accomplish His purpose for us. He will use you, as you are, to His glory as you look to Him to do what He is very good at … being GOD!

  2. Hi! I feel like a confirmation has taken place today, as I have read about what mercy really is, and what I possess from God to accomplish in this life for Him. I had a friend several years ago tell me I had the gift of mercy. I knew it was partially true, but today I am sure this is one thing God has specifically called me to. Thanks for defining this gift for me so I can continue in His work with much joy and assurance!

    • You are most welcome, Rhonda. I praise God with you. May you serve with confidence knowing that it is the power of God at work within and through you as you extend HIS mercy to others!

  3. Hi, I’ve come to a stage in my life where I am so wanting to know what God wants me to do and be. I really needed to read that comment that He will use me as I am and that my purpose and role is in His hands. I often let myself get so worked up with anxiety about the future that i forget to trust that God’s in control and that He’s the One who moulds and shapes me into the person He wants me to be, thankyou :-)

    • You are most welcome, Olivia. I praise God that He used these words! When you feel anxious, turn to the Lord in prayer about all of this and He will give you the peace you need (Phil. 4:6-7). And, as promised in Proverbs 3:5-6, He will also direct your path.

  4. Good morrning everyone :) my friend shared this website with me. we talk about gifts of God, and i done the test. it shows that the high score was on mercy. my heart melt down with tears. Look back i can relate to mercy and compasion i have to people, but never expected i really can get a gift from God. Gift of mercy … maybe is just me like but i feel proud of it. I love to help others. i have special compasion for those who have a hurting heart, maybe because mine was/is hurting, and what i learn from my lovely Jesus is how much he loves me and i would like to share the love of Jesus with others, and also i would love to give time to people. But is also something sad about me, every time i do something inside i feel like is not enough, i would love to help more, to lift people up when they are sad and lonley but how someone like me can help?

    • Ewa, God’s Word seems to clearly indicate that every believer of Jesus has at least one spiritual gift. (1 Cor. 12:4-7) The way you described yourself does sound like the spiritual gift of mercy. In addition to some examples of its use above, you can find suggested uses by clicking on the following link: Benevolence/Caring Ministry If you click on the links on that page, you will find additional training articles and resource pages that relate to ministry suited to people with the gift of mercy.

      You will never be able to meet all of the needs around you. Even Jesus didn’t meet each and every need when He lived on this earth. You need to yield to the Spirit, asking God to show you which needs He would have you meet. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” When you are faithfully exercising your gift in His wisdom and power, you can be at peace knowing that you did what He wanted you to do.

  5. Hello,
    I’m a little bit confused. I believe my main gift is exhortation but I have always felt that I had the gift of mercy but others would say that I didn’t. The reason I thought that was because I have this strong emotional “pull” towards people who are hurting and desire to encourage them and love them and I am very motivated to try and help them through their pain (especially emotional pain). The reason people didn’t think I had that gift is because I also lean toward prophet and speak the truth boldly. Is it possible to be strong and bold with truth like the prophet as well as compassionate and merciful like one with the gift of mercy or am I just missing that I’m describing an exhorter/prophet? Thank you for your ministry! :)

    • Hello, Judi. Let me first say that mercy and prophecy, though seemingly on opposite sides of the spectrum, are not an impossible pairing of gifts. Remember that Jesus came full of both grace and truth. Those with the gift of prophecy and not mercy must learn to be more Christ-like in “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

      How you described yourself could have multiple explanations. Since I don’t know you, I can’t say which fits you.

      1) You could have a personality that is more responsive to people and gifting that is more exhorter/prophet or vice versa.
      2) When we have multiple gifts, they are not necessarily in equal measure. Perhaps others see the exhorter/prophet side more because it is stronger within you. You could sense the gift of mercy because it is there but others aren’t seeing it as much because it is not as strong of a gift within you as prophecy.
      3) If you have the gift of mercy, perhaps it hasn’t been developed within you as much as the other gifts. The Apostle Paul told Timothy to “fan into flame” the gift within him. Perhaps, if you do have the gift of mercy, it needs to be fanned into flame more so it becomes more evident to others.
      4) Sometimes a “pull” towards people hurting could be more of our heart’s passion than gifting. God could have laid it on your heart to steer you in ministry and/or to bring balance to your gifting. Or, it could stem from your own life experiences/background or of those close to you.
      5) What you are sensing as the spiritual gift of mercy could be exhortation. A person with the gift of exhortation could also be pulled toward hurting people. The difference is usually in the way you minister to hurting people. Someone with the gift of exhortation will come alongside of people with words (spoken or written) to encourage them whereas someone with the gift of mercy will moreso do deeds of kindness to help alleviate people’s emotional or physical distress.

      • Thank you so much. That was very helpful, especially because growing up I did experience a lot of emotinal pain and that could explain the empathy. Also, your comment about exhorters ministering with words turned the light on as I love to write notes or poems or take someone to lunch to try to encourage them and they often say I encouraged them with my words. God has such a wonderful way of gifting us to minister to each other and share with others what He has taught us along the way. Thank you again for your special part in the family of God! :)

        • You are so very welcome, Judi. I am glad my response clarified some things for you. God is good!

  6. Greetings,
    My name is Lois… I just discovered today that I have the gift of mercy. I didn’t even know that mercy was a gift. I always wondered why the people around me were those that seemed to be hurting in one area or another. My mum told me that I needed to pray to God to give me godly friends and that she didn’t like the kind of people I spent time with. This made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I started distancing myself from anyone that was hurting or confused, but this didn’t attract the ‘godly friends’ that I was looking for. After a while I began to get irritated and angry at everything and everyone. It really got so bad that I started talking back to my parents, shouting when things aren’t done right. Then one day, my sister told me that a cousin of ours was having a certain challenge and that she would like me to talk with her. After our discussion, I felt like a new person- as though a serious need had been met in my life, and from then on whenever I would listen to someone or encourage them or just be there for them when things aren’t going so well, I experience the same fresh feeling(like I belong and that I’m useful). Now that I’ve defined this spiriual gift, the next step is to use it in the area of my heart’s desire, and in a way that best expresses my personality and experiences. It’s going to be an adventurous journey, and one that I’m willing to take. I will not disappoint destiny in Jesus’ name. Amen! Thank you MiniTools for your help. It has started something great for me. May God continually bless you with all you need to reach more and more individuals; thereby fulfilling your own destiny.

    • You are welcome, Lois. True fulfillment in life comes first by knowing Jesus and finding Him to be our all in all and then by living according to God’s design for our lives in the strength God provides. When either of these are not realities in our lives, we can be most miserable and make those around us miserable. When they are in place, we can have a peace and contentment and a real sense of purpose. And, we can be a true blessing to others.