Tag Archives: Compassion

Spirit or Flesh?

30 Jul


Characteristics of the gift of MERCY (Part 3)

There are seven Spiritual Gifts mentioned in Romans:

Rom 12:3-8

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

We are all misunderstood at times. Many times it is our motive that people don’t understand. Each Motivational Gift carries with it some characteristics that can be misunderstood. As we continue through this series you may recognize a particular Spiritual Gift just by the characteristics of an individual. And, hopefully, you will gain a better understanding of why people act and react the way they do about some things.  The person with the Gift of Mercy will more than likely show some of the following signs in their personality:
  • The avoidance of firmness may appear to be weakness and indecisiveness
  • The sensitivity to the spirit and feelings of others may cause some to feel they are guided by emotions rather than logic
  • The attraction and understanding of those in distress may be misinterpreted by those of the opposite sex
  • The sensitivity to words and actions which cause hurts may appear to be taking up another’s offense
  • The ability to detect insincere motives may cause some to feel they are hard to get to know

There is so much harshness in the world today. People are getting bolder in their actions, their attitudes and in their basic manners. We see more impolite and discourteous people who are offensive, vulgar, and just plain disrespectful.

The person that God has gifted with the Gift of Mercy is used to show God’s love to everyone – yes, everyone! Keep in mind that we are all still in training so God will teach us what He wants us to know as we walk with Him and yield in obedience to His ways. Even though God implants a gift in us doesn’t mean that we are fueled and ready to go! We may be a little rough around the edges but these characteristics will begin to shine as we mature in the ways of God.

We are told not to judge our Christian brothers and sisters. So, we need to be very careful when we “size up” anyone. We should learn how to prevent ourselves from assuming why someone does what they do. We tend to judge others on our own personal strengths instead of seeing their strengths. Thank goodness everyone is not the same. If we don’t get along with others it is many times because they won’t do things our way.

We should be thankful for those around us who will show us kindness when no one else will, or for someone who will go out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Obviously, those traits will be recognizable in many. But, the Mercy oriented person will go far beyond what others do. They may even appear weak or undecided. They are masters at showing acceptance and love to others and if our own personality is one where mercy isn’t a strong point then we are probably not going to agree with the way a Mercy motivated person handles a situation. For instance, if our own gift is Prophecy, then we will be more concerned that a person “learn a lesson” from a mistake rather than to reach out and comfort them as would the gift of Mercy.

Sometimes, when we see a Merciful person being kind to someone we don’t like we may not like it at all. We may feel jealous or threatened or even angry. Just realize that if this happens – we are looking at it from our own Motivational Gift. We must realize that they are doing what  God wants them to do. He wants them to show His mercy where others won’t, or can’t.

Following are some of the differences that will be seen when a person with the Gift of Mercy isn’t walking in the Spirit but in the weakness of their flesh. These will be areas that they are still learning about.

When they are walking in the Spirit vs. walking in the Flesh:

SPIRIT – They are attentive – courteous, devoted (Know what is happening in their environment)
FLESH– They are unconcerned – apathetic (They could care less if anyone is hurting or not)
SPIRIT – They are sensitive – having or showing keen sensibility; tender.(Hurt with those who are hurting and laugh with those who are laughing)
FLESH – They are callous – hardened – hardened in mind; unfeeling
SPIRIT– They are fair – just and honest.  They treat others with honor and show fairness…no partiality.
FLESH – The are partial – favoring one person more than another, biased
SPIRIT– They are compassionate – Show pity and deep sympathy for others.
FLESH – They are indifferent – uninterested, without concern, differ in opinion
SPIRIT – They are gentle – refined, polite, generous, kind, patient. (Move in slowly, meeting the need that is revealed by the Holy Spirit).
FLESH – They are harsh – rough, unfeeling, severe
SPIRIT – They show deference – A yielding in opinion; willing to submit or yield to someone else; respecting others.
FLESH – They are rude – uncivil, primitive
SPIRIT – They are meek – a spirit of humility. (A willingness to suffer or bear other people’s criticism, if necessary, to bring other people through).
FLESH – They are filled with anger – enraged, hostile Explode in a volcanic anger and you will think “What is happening to you?”

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

God Knows Where You Are Going . . . Even If You Don’t!

29 May

We continue with the story of Ruth and Naomi.

What a testimony of Ruth’s dedication and selflessness. How difficult it must have been for her. She was already grieving the loss of her husband. She knew she would never see her country or her family again. It’s hard to even imagine. God is working behind the scene – He has a plan. The outcome was not known to Ruth or to us in our lives, but it is known by God–planned by Him! Wow!

At this point we really begin to see who Ruth is – who God made her to be. She probably didn’t even know herself until she was tested and tried. That’s God for you!

A major part of what Ruth was dedicating herself to was the care of her mother-in-law. That in itself was a really big challenge. These women had nothing. At one time in her life, Naomi was well known, her husband owned land but He mortgaged it all to move his family to Moab. Naomi and Ruth were returning to Bethlehem with no idea of where they would live or how they would provide for themselves. It must have also been difficult for Naomi, knowing she would have to face all her friends and family. She was now ashamed of her life so much so that she wanted to change her name.

Ruth was up to the challenge. Her heart and soul were now rich with integrity and morality. She was full of compassion. She had a sense of duty and responsibility beyond measure. Ruth did not let the pain in her heart cheat her. She refused to give a prominent place to it. Ruth did not bask in her grievous situation. She did not give in to the things in her life that could have claimed her and doomed her to a life of condemnation. Neither did Ruth feel that she had been treated unfairly or concern herself just with her own needs. She placed the needs of Naomi above her own. Ruth tamed her own emotions and stepped up to the challenge that providence had awarded her.

There is nothing written to even suggest that Ruth felt sorry for herself or asked anything for herself. Her focus was on the protection and care of Naomi, her husband’s mother. How proud he would have been of his wife, knowing his mother was completely alone, in a foreign country and had no one else to care for her.

Ruth’s future at this stage of her life was completely unknown an unpredictable. She did not allow her losses to ruin her life or set her back. Little did she know what a great future God had planned for her!

When Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem it was just in time for barley harvest. Naomi was well known there. Her return stirred everyone. They could not believe the change that had occurred in her life. They also saw how dedicated Ruth was to Naomi and how yielded Ruth was in her submissiveness to Naomi, putting her well being above all else. Ruth humbled herself. She was willing to work as a servant to provide for Naomi. She did not think herself too good to work hard.

The entire city knew Ruth was a virtuous woman. Constant! That is the word used to describe Ruth. A powerful word! A powerful personality trait! Not wavering – not confused – unwavering, unwilling to give in to her grief, the pain the hardship and the responsibilities that had beset her. In a word, Ruth refused to give in to the many hardships that were trying to rob her of all the good that she had become accustomed to.

To Be Continued . . . .

%d bloggers like this: