What’s a Spiritual Gift?

20090713_spiritual-gifts-mercy_poster_imgA spiritual gift is one that Christians believe has been given through the power of the Holy Spirit to a person at baptism . It is different than a life gift or skill, but can be connected. Specifically though, spiritual gifts are given for the purpose of participating with the Christian community in God’s mission of reconciliation and renewal.

Scripture witnesses that there are many kinds of gifts. One of these is “mercy.” In Romans 12 (6-8) Paul writes,  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with yourfaith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.Kelli Mahoney, in describing the spiritual gift of mercy says this: The spiritual gift of mercy is one in which a person demonstrates a strong ability to empathize with others with compassion, words, and actions. Those with this gift are able to provide some relief to those going through tough times physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

There are many inventories that help people discern what their spiritual gifts are, but sometimes asking questions like these ones about the gift of mercy can help you identify your gift:

  • Are you often drawn to people who are suffering or in distress?
  • Does helping the sick, needy, disabled, elderly, etc. excite you?
  • Do you find yourself wanting to participate in ministries that work with job placement, food pantries, shelters, assisted living homes, etc?
  • When you consider college, are you looking at majors like Psychology, Sociology, Health Sciences, Social Work, or Medicine?
  • Do people seek you out when they are having a tough time?

If mercy is your gift or even if you want to grow in mercy then perhaps you’d be interested in the Red Deer Justice Film Festival being held this week.