I have a question for those that have the gift of Mercy. Or, may just have the understanding of this gift. How does one know and understand when and how to extend mercy?
If you are in relationship with another and they seem to be ‘not keeping their responsible part.’ do they deserve mercy? How would I know if they just don’t want to take responsibility or they are ‘not capable?’
Maybe this is not a Mercy issue, if not, what is the issue? I am looking at this from personal and interpersonal relationships. Ones that are desirable to both but sure has lots of bumps in the road at times. How would I determine if they are capable or not?
26 thoughts on “Gift of Mercy”
I am not a good one to ask because I don’t think I have the gift of Mercy. Although I feel I have had a lot of mercy extended to me. Now that I have identified myself in this area as lacking I do have a thought or idea. How would it be to just ask the one we are wondering about, ‘do you feel you are capable or incapable?
Needles and Sara, We are capable but are we willing? God’s has given us the tools we need to do all things…(Everything is possible with God. Mark 10:27) 1 Corinthians 2:16″Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” If we desire the gift of mercy and we ask for it God will give it to us. (Psalms 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”) Now when receiving any gift it takes work. If we want it we must use it, because what good is a gift that is unused. Work, Work, Work… Using our gifts to glorify God everyday. So Sara I would’t say we were incapable as much as we may be unwilling and possible even LAZY.
Now, I know that there are people that Satan uses againts us. Their traps are like Spider webs that we can easily get snared in. They may use pitty and sorrow to drain our gift of mercy and leave us tired, drained and sick. We have to be cautious of these webs used as traps of Satan. We have to be wise in God’s Word and we have to be prepared with prayer. Proverbs 8:12-14 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgement. I know where to discover knowlege and discernment. 13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. 14 Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.” God will bless us with the wisdom and given us a gift of discernment. We must us this if we see a web set for us. IF we give mercy and give mercy to someone who really doesn’t care about God and His Rules, we may be spinning our wheels. We may find ourselves in a position where we are allowing that person to drain our joy. When this happens, we are in bondage to that person. They begin to control us and they become our God. 2 Peter 2:19 “They promised freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to what ever controls you.” We must be very careful not to get caught up in this web, where we allow someone to control us. Jesus has set us free and broken all the chains. So we must not allow guilt or other feelings to tie us to someone who is ready to destroy us. We can continue to pray for that person and allow Christ to shine through us in front of that person with joy in our hearts. We must have boundaries set for that person and we can let them know what they are. We have to let them know that we will not be mastered by anyone or anything- God is our only master. We don’t need to waste lots of time and energy with DRAMA…. Just continue to pray and spending time with the Lord. We don’t want to be their God and we don’t want them to be ours. Matthew 10:14 “If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust from your feet as you leave.” It doesn’t say force it down their throats. God doesn’t, neither should we. So, we must have wisdom from God’s word, discernment to know when and how to use our gifts, control so we don’t get carried away with our flesh and emotions and lots of prayer to keep in close contact with the one who gives the gift-God. If no one wants to hear God’s message, we must wipe the dust off our feet and move on. SHEWWW!!!!!!!! That’s a whole lot of work to be prepared to use a gift such as mercy!!!!!!!!
Good preaching, CF. Mercy, to me, or how I understand it seems to have to do with the kind of mercy God has for us. We all know the definition of mercy…Not giving the penalty that is due for certain actions, deeds, etc. So it is an act of forgiveness. I believe we can forgive someone’s hurtful actions or false accusations or the breaking of a trust towards us without insisting on having a personal relationship with them. To show mercy is to release someone from the guilt and shame that they would ordinarily hold because of some misdeed. We can show mercy, we can forgive, we can refrain from exacting a monetary fine or a court suite against them. We can forgive them, pray for them, as CF indicated above. But we don’t have to marry them, or adopt them.
CF says it when she quotes Jesus…..forgive and “shake the dust off the sandals” and step with your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, on down the road. Be like Dorothy and Toto and “ease on down, ease on down the road.”
Needles, I think you have struck up the band with your thoughts and questions. They seem so timely as we watch and read the news time line with political and religious leaders falling like flies to infidelity and lies and other moral issues we question at times. These book are about to become ad nauseam with, who, why, when and how? Gee, were these men capable of having an autonomous relationship with one spouse or not? Are they capable of telling truth? These men being, Senator Mark Sanford, Governor, SC, and John Edwards, NC. Let’s not forget Gayle Haggard book, “Why I Stayed.” Gayle, wife of former mega-church pastor and evangelical leader Ted Haggard, She explained how her marriage has grown stronger since her husband’s infidelity, with men, and other related problems, (illegal drug use) were revealed. I must say in my little knowledge of these books and lives of lies it seems money making and it is money making after the public exposure. Who could believe them then? One has to wonder why there was no thought to ‘were they capable’ of living the lives they touted to the public? Or, why does the public/private knowledge that they now bring to the public have to be for financial gain. Wonder if they know about capable and mercy?
I only mention these lives as they are our news headlines. Mercy! I have to laugh or cry, it makes me want to say, ‘mercy me.’ I didn’t use Tiger Woods since he does not profess to being a Christian but the other three/six partners involved in these book do.
I think some of us as Christians and Americans are just naive enough to want to believe people are good, honest, of integrity and really do live lives of character. Now, Needles back to capable and mercy. CF talks about shaking dust off feet, I think Jenny Sanford’s book falls in this category. Gayle’s book seems to say I have some odd ball mercy and the books on John Edwards say, is he capable or not?
I don’t know, Needles, it is all way over my head. But, I must say there is much pain for the church, nation and families to read and know this is life. Both theirs and maybe others.
Dear Needles I am stumped. I typed a reply last night and the reread your question and was totally without answers. I even thought this really hits home. I then thought maybe I don’t really know what the Gift of Mercy is. I typed in Gift of Mercy and came across John MacArthur’s site and one of his sermons that the Gift of Mercy has everything to do with pity and compassion to those in misery. Just like God sent Jesus to be our Lord and Savior because of the misery of our sinful state. Then I read grace has to do with the sin which I knew. Not really knowing the answer I would think perhaps people render themselves incapable because they are in a sinful state, or they don’t really want to draw closer to God, And we show mercy – why? I don’t know. I know people you go out of your way to comment to and they just seem to drop the whole thing without even acknowledging you addressed them. I know people who want you to address a need in them but will do nothng for you.
Are we thinking we are showing mercy to one in misery or are we thinking we are showing mercy and the person we are showing it to is in sin or total rebellion against God and really needs Jesus but wont search him out and find out who JESUS is rather than knowing him by name and a surface knowledge. Maybe the word then fell on rocky soil and never took root. No answers but a lot of questions. Thinks for the questions – I’ll keep digging.
Oh by the way Sara I think you have a lot of mercy. You help people get out of the ditch and on the road to Jesus. You also help those who are in misery. Way to go!
Keep pulling them out of the trenches and on the right road!
Does Mercy condone sin? Is Mercy magnanimous, understanding, sympathetic and compassionate to sin even when there’s no repentance or changing of ways? Does mercy continue to excuse and ‘absolve’ a contiuning sin? is love really blind?
Thank you Rena. CF said we can pray and ask for mercy and God would give it to us. That made me remember we can also ask for wisdom and he will give to us.
Sin is sin…and Christians know that because the Holy Spirit convicts us and shows us the way and that is without exception. Being blindsided is an opportunity to change and allows us to make wise or unwise decisions. Jenny Sanford writes, “you many choose your sin but you cannot choose the consequences. Actions and sins do have consequences.”
Forgiveness always for sins or wrongs but never acceptance of. Needles, I think I am seeing through a clear clean glass now some insight into your blog. The essence is, ‘not keeping their responsible part.’ We would not give or expect an incapable person to be responsible for something they were incapable of doing. Would we?
Therefore, this all says to me get responsible with your duties and responsibilities or pay with the consequences. And, the consequences are stated in God’s Word on any and all issues. And, may I say ‘mercy gift’ has instructions that comes with, be responsible with this awesome gift. If you don’t know when and how to use it, forget it.
That’s right, Sara. If one doesn’t know ‘how or when’ to administer the gift of mercy, makeing things worse or enables another to continue in his/her sin then maybe that’s not God’s gift of mercy at all that they think they have. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags.
A couple of my thoughts to add to the above which may be similar to what’s already been said …but just my trying to process all the comments…Since the gifts are to be used for the Body of Christ and there are people at different stages of growth and maturity in the body, than maybe some capable recipients need a boost of mercy to help them get to a higher level of maturity where they can ‘see’ to act responsibly and function capably. Maybe they are capable of being responsible but can’t seem to get in gear to do it and then the gift of mercy comes along and helps them get free from something the devil or their own sin has blinded them to or had them bound by. Guess this goes back to the heart soil issue Rena mentioned. If the mercy falls on good soil it will produce results, hard soil, no results.
New York Times writes, “…soon-to-be ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, above, is publishing an elegant evisceration of a memoir.” What in the heck does this mean? Please somebody tell me…
Oh, wait, they also write, “…But why expose their father as a laughably cheap, self-absorbed, soulless, cheating first-class jerk?” Is he capable to do his part as husband, father, Christian, I think, yes. I think his wife, Mrs. Mercy,got it right… get the heck out….
Oh no, what a dilemma, “Because we lived in this house, (Governor’s Mansion) a decision to ask my husband to leave was very difficult,” she said. “The house comes with his job, not mine. So I didn’t have the option of kicking him out…”
The above story reminds me of a tear-jerker love song…”What I DID FOR LOVE but instead should be entitled…”What I DID for MONEY. ONlY Jesus has the exclusive rights to the former title, because of what He did for love. He died on the cross, not for money from book sales, not for self-aggrandizement, but for the prize of four-millennia of souls for His Father’s Kingdom.
But to look at it from the other side… I cannot dictate what I would do in such a situation as hers. My case was slightly different, not riddled with noteriety and national observation and public scrutiny. In my case, what the enemy of my souls meant for evil, God turned to the good in a glorious salvation experience where I found the true God, Jesus Christ, Father and Holy Spiritl In the other case mentioned above…. heartbreak, infamy and big bucks for a book about it.
Chickenfarmer was warning above about the pitfalls of being controlled by a person or in bondage to them and saying that we must not ‘be mastered by anyone or anything- God is our only master.’
Yet it seems as we read above scenerios and ask ourselves questions, that the love of money (I Tim6:10) and security of things has deep roots that twine around the heart and motives and control the purse strings of ‘mercy’ and influence actions and decision-making.
Needles,your blog is looking like Catch-22. Since we are discussing personal and interpersonal relationships, Catch-22 will catch us. Let’s say, we determine they are capable, then what would we do if they continue on in their incapable state?
Maybe, life is easier in these type of relationships to dig in and cover our heads. Many would call that mercy. Think of how many sexual abuse and other issues where an adult abuses a child and a Mother or other adult covers or turns their head. Many times they think they are saving their family. There are good Christian books where the authors have experience abuse and have overcome. Both Joyce Meyers and Beth Moore has some excellent books out on issues that speak of God’s help and mercy when one does the right thing. And, the right action is what we are looking for I believe. Feels like an Easter Egg Hunt….
“Don’t go through Life – GROW through life” a quote I found not sure of author….I hope through this blog and comments we can grow and not just go.
There is a lot of suffering in the lives of the real life characters in the books mentioned as well as our readers and writers. Needles, this is mercy at its best when one shows up and works through issues with the grace of a Holy God and divine guidance of The Holy Spirit and the unfathomable love of a Savior with the credentials of scars and stripes.
If one with whom we have to do or would hope to have to do refuses by their own will to open up or to change or to even consider another perspective….then is that when you just honor that person’s outlook as another human being and move on? Like “shake-the-dust-off-the-sandals” theme? Is it merciful to not continue to nag, prod, or try to persuade or dissuade whatever the case might be? I am just asking, looking for a perspective on this.
Would we not say each person is a mirror for another. Therefore, the answer to your question MG seems to lie within oneself. We previously may have glimpsed “through a glass darkly,”1 Corinthians 13… but while interacting in interpersonal relationships our authentic self becomes clear in a new and revealing way.
When we look between words, deeds and actions of another unexpected revelations about ourselves may shine through, like a candle suddenly burning without the striking of a match. And, you meet a forgotten or unknown part of yourself as if for the first time. The question one must ask themselves each and every time, how do I greet the new me? Do I like this aspect of the me? What will I do with this confrontational me?
Well, that depends on the situation that one encounters with an individual. If, in one’s pursuit of a relationship whether it be a blood relative, a friend or one that you feel the Lord has brought into your life to mentor, if the response is less than positive after one feels they have gone above and beyond…then yes…one has to examine one’s own attitudes, perspective and approach, carefully. Sometimes it’s all in the approach. I find that true in dealing with children in school. Some will acquiesce quickly and are content to learn at face value. Others rebel against the “institutional” norms and the teacher has to study creative ways in her approach to certain children in presenting instruction.
So I agree that we might have an epiphany as to our own methods of communication and articulation and the eficacy of both.
A mirror is a mirror, isn’t it?
Yes, that’s true. And I have several mirrors in my home and some are more flattering than others. So I try to prepare before the harshest ones and then before I leave the house I look in the more flattering one that gives me a boost before I face the world. So maybe it also depends on which mirror you’re looking into. Some “mirrors” will accept you in a good light. Those are the ones who accept you,and or share your perspectives and exchange good communication with you. Other “mirrors” are harsher and might not reflect what you would hope that they would. Very interesting.
Mirrors remind me of truth, like what the wicked Queen found out about herself in the fairytell ‘Snow White’…truth. She didn’t like it that someone else had upstaged her beauty in looks as well as character and her reaction exposed a dark evil in her. She chose to respond with evil.
This also reminded me that Sara wrote a blog about this mirror (Study with Sara-Mirror Mirror on The Wall-Who’s the fairest of us all! June 7, 2007). It is worth re-reading and I think has good advice related to handling ‘mercy’ for the current situations and people that are being written about in this blog of Needles. There are questions Sara asks in her Mirror blog like, ‘Have we helped them devise a lie for the purpose of gaining advantage in their life.” or “So, just how fair are we to ourselves? To our children? Or to others? Do we even know the difference?”
I did Mirror search on our blog and found the blog Debi referred to above. It starts out, “The mirror said: “You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Little Snow-White is still -A thousand times fairer than you.”
I, too, have noticed that some mirrors make me look a little better than others. Hum! Interestingly we know that and we seek them out. Wonder if we know which one really gives the truth!
Also, day light, night light and any kind of light can change the way one looks in a mirror. Of course candlelight is just the best for forgetting the the things I like less.
I will refer back to what I wrote above, “When we look between words, deeds and actions of another unexpected revelations about ourselves may shine through, like a candle suddenly burning without the striking of a match. And, you meet a forgotten or unknown part of yourself as if for the first time. The question one must ask themselves each and every time, how do I greet the new me? Do I like this aspect of the me? What will I do with this confrontational me?”
I must say I am thinking the answer to the blog is me, how do I handle me with honesty, integrity and behavioral so I will be the person I want to be in the light of Jesus, the ultimate judge of my actions and behavior. My question is, ‘am I capable?’ Philippines 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
WOW! Where do I start? You lillies have written enough to keep me studying, for years to come! I appreciate all of the input, knowledge, prayers, etc, in trying to come to some understanding. Sara, you are right….it all starts with me, doesn’t it?
Needles, I think this would make a great book!
Good idea about the book. I think this quote of Sara’s is an awesome introduction to it. It really gets you thinking. I keep reading it again and again….
“When we look between words, deeds and actions of another unexpected revelations about ourselves may shine through, like a candle suddenly burning without the striking of a match. And, you meet a forgotten or unknown part of yourself as if for the first time. The question one must ask themselves each and every time, how do I greet the new me? Do I like this aspect of the me? What will I do with this confrontational me?”