Motivational Gifts: Mercy

By Johnny Hunt
Bible Book: Romans  12 : 6-8
Subject: Mercy, Spiritual Gift of
Series: Motivational Gifts

WHAT? The expressions of God's grace working within each believer. God's grace gives each believer the desire and the power to concentrate on a particular aspect of spiritual concern. In the context of Eph. 4:llff, they are gifts given by the Holy Spirit in order to carry out the work of the ministry.

Every Christian has one of the seven motivational gifts listed in Romans l2:6-8. As a result, every Christian views other Christians and circumstances through his or her motivational gift.

Why? We employ them to benefit one another. These are the gifts God has built into us, made part of us, to be used for the benefit of others and for His glory. They are called motivational because they are the motivating force for our lives. They are the gifts that shape our personalities. Since God has created us with a free will, we can choose to use our gifts appropriately, or we can choose to neglect them, or even abuse them. We must learn what they are and how they function.

"What we are is God's gift to us; What we make of our lives is our gift to God."


l.  Prophet - one who clearly perceives the will of God. Proclaims truth and exposes sin.

2. Servant - one who loves to serve others; a doer; meet needs, frees others

3. Teacher - one who loves to research and communicate truth. Researcher; clarifies truth, validates information

4. Exhortation - one who loves to encourage others to live a victorious life. These are the extremely positive people; stimulates faith and promotes growth.

5. Giving - one who loves to give time, talent, energy, and means to benefit others and advance

the gospel. A contributor; entrusts assets, maximizes results.

6. Ruling - administrator; one who loves to organize, lead, or direct. A facilitator or leader. Plans ahead and completes task.

7. Mercy - Compassion person; one who shows compassion, love, and care to those in need. Removes distress and share burdens.

ILLUSTRATION: Bill Gothard: If each of the seven gifts visited someone in the hospital, here is what each one might say:

l. Server - "Here's a little gift! Now, I brought your mail in, fed your dog, watered your plants, and washed your dishes."

2. Teacher - "I did some research on your illness and I believe I can explain what's happening."

3. Mercy - "I can't begin to tell you how I felt when I learned you were so sick. How do you feel now?"

4. Giver - "Do you have insurance to cover this kind of illness?"

5. "Ruler" -"Don't worry about a thing. I've assigned your job to four others in the office."

6. Exhorter - "How can we use what you're learning here to help others in the future?"

7. Prophet - "What is God trying to say to you through this illness? Is there some sin you haven't confessed yet?"


Romans 12:1-8 (1-5)

You will never achieve God's purposes through your spiritual gift until you learn obedience to His Word. Remember that God designed the gifts so that we would need each other just as much as we need each member of our physical body.

In the first five verses we see a call to:

l. Wholehearted Dedication. v.l

2. Minds Renewed. v.2

(By God's Word) Romans 12:2

3. A Right Attitude About Ourselves. v.3

gratefulness - humility, rather than conceit.

The driving force in your life. All in life is colored by your motivational gift. It is not a feminine gift. This person must be tough on the outside because they are so tender on the inside. It is believed that 30% of all believers have this gift. Mercy is drawn to prophesy in marriage. This gift can be hurt more than any other person because of their tenderness. Bible character is John.


v.8 "with cheerfulness" - joyful eagerness.

l. An ability to feel an atmosphere of joy or distress in an individual or group. Discern where people are emotionally.

2. A tendency to attract people who are having mental and emotional distress. People gravitate to them; not prophets. Able to project themselves to the hurting. God's gift of cheerfulness and joy to the body. They can weep with others.

3. A desire to remove the causes of hurts rather than to look for benefits from them. Exhortation says, "let them hurt, God's at work." Mercy, once they see God's plan, can back off but not without hurting for them. John's message was to get Christians to stop hating and hurting each other. (I John 3:ll, l5).

4. A greater concern over mental joy or distress than physical concerns. Concern with inner hurt; express not words of concern, but genuine love and help.

5. A sensitivity to words and actions that will help others. Radar sensitivity. In the flesh they react harshly.

6. A tendency to react harshly when intimate friends are rejected. Rejection leads them to project themselves into the situation. Remember: very sensitive

7. An ability to sense genuine love. A greater vulnerability to deeper and more frequent hurts from the lack of love. – Know when it is plastic. – Mercy is injured more easily. – They must sense your protective care. – Lack of love grieves them. – Mercy will back off. – You can hurt mercy without ever knowing it.

8. A need for deep friendships in which there is mutual commitment. They need a sense of commitment. John had a close relationship with Jesus

(disciple “whom Jesus loved”).

9. A need to measure acceptance by physical Closeness and quality time together. ? On the phone with my mind on something else will destroy mercy. They need quality time from spouse.

10. An enjoyment and unity with those who are sensitive to the needs and feeling of others. Don’t like critics, judgers.

11. A tendency to be attracted to those with the spiritual gift of prophecy.

12. A tendency to avoid decisions and firmness unless they will eliminate greater hurts.

13. A closing of their spirit to those who are insincere or insensitive. Why? They are willing to hurt with you if you are genuine; but if not, they are withdrawn.


The more opportunity they have to give love, the more joyful and fulfilled they are. – Compassion people are non-critical. It's almost as if they have built-in blinders that keep them from seeing bad things in others. – One can almost visualize feelers or antennas on the heads of those with the gift of mercy.

In tune with the deepest feelings of others.

Sympathy says, "I'm sorry you hurt!"

Empathy says, "I'm sorry you hurt and I hurt with you!"

Mercy says, "I'm sorry you hurt, and I hurt with you, and I'm going to stay right here with you until the hurt is gone."

–Mercy people are builders of bridges and menders of breaches.

–They detect ulterior motives or insincerity.

–Not confronters.

–Don't confuse me with the facts, my feelings are already made up.


l. Failing To Be Firm And Decisive When Necessary

Those with the gift of mercy find it hard to be firm and decisive because they do not want to hurt or offend other people. Very often, the lack of firmness or decisiveness only causes greater hurt and disappointment.

2. Taking Up Offenses For Those Who Have Been Hurt

When those with the gift of mercy see or hear about someone hurting another person, they can feel the hurt as well. They will tend to take up offenses, especially if it is a friend who is being hurt.

3. Basing Decisions on Emotions Rather Than On Principle

Because those with the gift of mercy have such strong emotions and feelings, they tend to base their decisions on them rather than on principle.

4. Promoting Improper Affections From Those Of The Opposite Sex

A person of the opposite sex tends to be drawn to those with the gift of mercy because of their ability to be sensitive, understanding, and responsive listeners. This must be considered in any counseling which is done, and safeguards must be established in order to avoid improper emotional attachments.

5. Cutting Off Fellowship With Those Who Are Insensitive To Others

Words and actions which reflect insensitivity to the feelings of other people are quickly recognized and reacted to by those with the gift of mercy who will tend to close their spirits to these people.

6. Reacting To God's Purposes In Allowing People To Suffer.

Unlike exhorters who look at suffering as a means of growing spiritually, those with the gift of mercy tend to react to the idea that God would allow a person to suffer for any good purpose. Their main concern is usually to remove the cause of suffering as soon as possible.

7. Sympathizing With Those Who Are Violating God's Standards

If those with the gift of mercy are not discerning as to why people suffer, they may give sympathy and encouragement to those who are suffering as a direct result of violating God's moral law.

8. Establishing Possessive Friendships With Others.

There is a deep need for commitment and closeness in the friendships of those with the gift of mercy. This can easily result in possessiveness of friendships with others, and the tendency to be deeply hurt when there is not a mutual commitment to the friendship.

Disappointments in one friendship tend to create greater expectations and possessiveness in new friendship.


POSITIVE                                                                                                          NEGATIVE

Attemptiveness                                                                     Unconcern

Sensitive                                                                               Callousness

Fairness                                                                                Partial

Compassion (feel love)                                                         Indifference

Gentleness                                                                            Harshness

Submissive                                                                            Rudeness

Meekness                                                                              Anger