For many years, I’ve thought that the Lord has given me exhortation as a primary gift of the spirit. I was wrong, I didn’t know. Now that I’m 46, and after going through an in depth study of the gifts of the spirit, I’m completely convinced that I have the gift of mercy as my primary gift. It ain’t exhortation… Not quite.
God has given me much kindness and gentleness. I sense and reflect the spiritual and emotional atmosphere around me, I’ve always reach for people who are suffering and do what I can to comfort them in my house or at the office. God has given me much literature to read on the topic of war for me being so anti-war and naive.
In higher education, I’ve sensed much hurt and responded to it with love and understanding, especially with students. Now I understand why so many kids come to my office to chat and unload. I thought the former was exhortation but after an in depth analysis with another believer, it was conformed to be mercy.
I forgive. Love is at the core of who I am. I’m not vindictive, never been or will be. I’m too compassionate to seek anger or to destroy the brethren. I could if I wanted to. It’s not going to happen, though. I’ve witnessed so many times God doing the war for me against those who consider themselves to be my enemies.
I have an incalculable amount of patience for the afflicted — I’m empathetic and a good listener… I have been there for others when they needed it, many times. Severe lonely and depressed students come to my office constantly. Now I get it why.
I “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). My God, now I know. “Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as is forgiving,” as found in the catechism’s works of mercy. I have them all. I see little mercy in this world but with you, everything is possible.
God has made me to instruct the Ignorant: Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:1-5.
Now I get it.