Rev. John Willoughby
(All Scriptures in NKJV, unless otherwise noted.)
a) It meets emotional needs. “He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom 12:8).
b) The ‘feeler’. The motivation to identify with, relieve and show sympathy with those who are in distress. An ability to feel ‘where people are’ and to mentally and emotionally relate to their needs, in order to bring comfort and healing.
a) The ‘feelers’. Mercy people have an insight by ‘feeling’, rather than through ‘seeing’ or ‘knowing’ (as in prophetic). They have a great sensitivity to words and actions that cause hurt to others and can themselves be quickly and deeply hurt in personal situations. This quiet sensitivity gives them the ability to ‘feel’ an atmosphere of joy or distress in an individual or group. They usually enjoy a unity with those who have a similar sensitivity and have a capacity for non-verbal communication. It is often difficult for them to communicate personal feelings.
b) The needy. They have a great compassion and empathy for ‘hurt’ people, are often drawn to the underdog and the distressed and can be good one-to-one counsellors in such situations. They, however, have the ability to discern insincerity in others and instinctively close their spirits to such people.
c) Non-threatening. They are basically quiet, non-threatening people (unlike ‘teaching’ and ‘prophetic’) and it is this attitude, which is most obvious. They do not generally like to be up front or on the platform, but rather in the background. They sometimes find it difficult to reprove others, but they have a quiet strength, almost stubbornness on major moral or ethical issues.
de) Weak but strong. When emotionally involved with someone very close to them, they find it difficult to stand up for themselves, because what they would like to say might hurt the other person, so they tend to remain silent and thus become hurt themselves. However, on other occasions they can have very strong views, especially when they believe that a firm stand could be of benefit to the other person.
f) Sad but glad. As a balance to this non-threatening attitude, they have an ability to be extremely cheerful and jovial, although many will need to be in a ‘comfortable environment’ (i.e. their own home or with close friends).
a) The Good Samaritan. Luke 10:29-37.
* v33. He felt for the wounded man.
* v34. He was physically drawn to the person in distress and acted to alleviate his suffering.
* v35. He took care of him and paid his bill, to avoid possible embarrassment. He also had an ability to discern the Innkeeper’s sincerity.
b) The Apostle John
* He wrote a Gospel and three Epistles of love and mercy.
* Lk 9:51-54. He was spiritual and sensitive, yet able to reprove what he thought was insincerity.
* II Jn 12 and III Jn 14. He wrote short epistles, because he preferred to speak “face to face”
4. DANGER AREAS
* They can be too introspective, sometimes grieving inwardly and then exploding in anger or bitterness.
* They can take other people’s emotional needs upon themselves and thus suffer themselves.
* A great sensitivity to the feelings of others, may cause some people to feel that the mercy person is guided by sentiment and emotion, rather than by facts and logic.
* They sometimes tend to be indecisive and may fail to be firm, when necessary.
* Because of their deep feelings, they can suffer from depression.
* Their non-threatening attitude may sometimes appear to others as weakness and may hinder mercy people from freely expressing their deepest feelings
* Men who are mercy motivated may find great difficulty in feeling comfortable in some cultures (especially Western), which tends to project men as having a very tough, ‘Macho’ image.
* Some ‘women mercies’ can become too ‘frothy’ and therefore never really accomplish much.
5. SOME GOOD ADVICE
a) To others and pastors. This is one of the most needed gifts, but is often misunderstood and suppressed (particularly in men). Encourage and develop avenues of ministry for them in the church.
b) To Mercies. Learn to release your emotions and do not feel condemned, because of the depth of your feelings. Learn not to take other’s problems upon yourself, but rather give them to Jesus. Men need to re-think the qualifications for manliness – gentleness is not excluded (Look at Jesus)!
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” and “My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (Heb 4:16. I Jn 3:18).