The Gift of Mercy

actsofmercy“The one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:8). The gift of mercy is the spiritual ability to be patient and kindhearted to those who are suffering. Acts of mercy include tending to the sick, relieving the poor, or caring for the aged and disabled. (Kasemann, Cranfield)

Mylene has a regular hospital visitation ministry. Whenever there is someone she knows who is in the hospital, she would go and visit. She does not need someone to tell her. She just goes there. She has the gift of mercy.

I’ve seen her take care of her sick father in our house. She would wash him and feed him and give him his medicines. She would do it lovingly and patiently for many years, until the day he died. I’ve seen her take care of her cousin-in-law, Joy Tenerife. She would go to Joy’s house every day. She would wash her, feed her, and talk to her every day. She took care of Joy until the last day.

The gift of mercy is not nursing the sick as a caregiver. It is not nursing the sick as a nurse in the hospital. There are nurses who do not have the gift of mercy. Some nurses take care of the sick out of mercy. Not a few do it out of dollars—to go to the USA someday.[1]

The gift of mercy is the spiritual ability to do acts of mercy patiently and compassionately to those in the body of Christ. Like all spiritual gifts, it functions in the context of the body of Christ.

Note how those with the gift of mercy should practice it. Paul wrote, “with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:8). If you have the gift of mercy, you do not do it while your face looks sad and mad. You do acts of mercy with cheerfulness. Thus, the gift of mercy is the special ability to do acts of mercy happily.

Do you perform acts of mercy happily to the helpless in the body of Christ? You have the gift of mercy. Do you help the poor cheerfully in the body of Christ? You have the gift of mercy. Do you take care of old people gladly? You have the gift of mercy.

Notice the overlap again between the gift of sharing and the gift of mercy. People with the gift of sharing sometimes do acts of mercy. People with the gift of mercy may share their goods.

Do you see people in church who cannot help themselves? Do you want to take care of them with cheerfulness? You have the gift of mercy. That is how you function in the body of Christ.

[1] Paolo Romero, “More Pinoy nurses seek US jobs,” Philstar.com. Cited December 2, 2016. Online: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/05/16/1583724/more-pinoy-nurses-seek-us-jobs.

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