Tag Archives: compassion

Breaking Bad: The Sin

image courtesy of Staurt Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Woah. Did I just dream about Chris Evans?

I woke up that morning in a daze. I was at the beach with my friends, trying to relax after a horrible summer (year, really) at work. My mind had enough to think and worry about…so why did I just dream about Chris Evans?

I don’t even know that much about him. Pretty sure I hated him after seeing Fantastic Four (loved the movie, but I remember thinking it wasn’t too much of a stretch for him to play the obnoxious Johnny Storm—which is mean, but you know, prophet here). I’m a huge fan of the Avengers, but Cap is not my favorite Avenger by any stretch—I waited to see the two Captain America movies on TV, and I hadn’t seen much else with him in it. This isn’t like in last April when I couldn’t stop dreaming about Alex Ovechkin because I was watching tons of hockey and the playoffs were consuming me. No, this was weird—I don’t even know what could have possibly triggered me to dream about Chris Evans. I knew nothing about him and didn’t really want or need to.

Except that I couldn’t stop thinking about him after the dream. For four weeks, I just allowed myself to keep thinking and dreaming about him…which was, in many ways, my own personal highway to hell.

When I can’t get someone or something out of my mind, after a while, my preoccupation with it tends to drive me to research the heck out of it. For example, when I started liking hockey, I learned as much about the sport as I possibly could. I didn’t just know my team, I knew all the teams. I was a sponge, taking in everything I could. There was nothing I didn’t want to know.

So naturally, after four weeks, I needed to know who Chris Evans was. It wasn’t enough to just dream…I needed to know. And supernaturally, thankfully, that’s where God met me—because the first article I read not-so-surprisingly confirmed to me that Chris Evans is a mercy gift.

This seems like no big deal, but for me, it fell right into a pattern. Mercy and prophets are beautifully opposites that attract and need each other. I tend to draw mercy males like a moth to a flame. It’s my prophet boldness, fearlessness, and decisiveness that draws them to me. I can pick them out of a crowd with ease. Once I met a friend’s best friend and knew from the moment he looked at me that he was a mercy gift. We became fast friends, and he (of course) eventually broke my heart (as most mercy males tend to do).

Two weeks ago and six weeks into my lust-fest, I was driving to my friend’s house and listening to some worship music. The song My Beloved (amazing song!) came on, and I found myself thinking of Mr. Evans as it played. Did he know he was God’s beloved, God’s child, specifically made the way he was for a reason? I broke down into heavy tears. For the first time, I was thinking about him as God did and I began interceding for him.

As I continued praying, I distinctly heard the Lord ask me how many mercy males he has put on my heart and in my life over the years. The answer was innumerable. I couldn’t even begin to count how many mercy males I have been drawn to or have torn at my heart strings. I have consistently had bad boundaries with them and experienced heartbreak at their hands. So many mercy males have been a part of my life. And then the Lord asked me very loudly, very clearly, and very pointedly: “And how many of them have you prayed for instead of lusting after?”

OUCH.

(The answer was very few.)

This was the moment that God began breaking bad in me.

Motivation: Compassion

Compassion-Logo

image courtesy of Schulstiftung (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mercy: the crown jewel of the motivational gifts. Why are they the crown jewel of the gifts? Because the mercy is wired to the heart of God, not the mind of God (as the other six gifts are). Mercies are often caught up in the battle of pleasing God or pleasing man because they are so compassionate that they do not want to hurt people by making decisions or confronting sin. However, they are predisposed to worship and can connect with God immediately without hesitation (I love to watch this happen with my mercy friends!). Mercy gifts are a safe place for wounded people and they can often sense who is wounded and hurting in a group of people. Mercy gifts are often attracted to prophets because prophets are bold and fearless, and prophets desperately need the softening influence of the mercy gift (I am always surrounded by mercy gifts!).

You may not be wired like them, but here are a few ways you can connect with a mercy gift:

  • Give your mercy friends time to process. This is probably the most important present you can give to your mercy friends. They will not process things at the same rate that you do. The mercy gift requires even more time to process than the teacher because mercies are processing everything through their emotions. You may not understand this, but you should respect it. Your mercy friend may come up to you three months later and say, “Remember when you said…well, you were right.” If this happens, simply remember that they were processing that the entire time!
  • Give your mercy friends appropriate physical contact. More than any other gift, the mercy craves intimacy—not just soul contact, but physical contact in the form of hugs and touch. The apostle John was a great example of a mercy gift—he not only referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved” but he also needed physical contact with him (he laid on Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper). Please be careful and notice that I said APPROPRIATE physical contact! Please do not allow yourself to become attached to a mercy gift based on physical contact; their need for physical contact can too often lead to inappropriate behavior, especially interactions between the opposite sex. Help your mercy friends to receive their physical contact in holy, God-honoring ways.
  • Give your mercy friends a push towards excellence. In their battle between pleasing God and pleasing man, mercies may get wrapped up in the emotions of others instead of the Lord. I have experienced this in churches where there is a mercy pastor who often wraps himself in loyalty and takes up offenses for his family. Pleasing man instead of God can mire the mercy gift in mediocrity. Help them get wrapped up in the Lord like John did in Revelation: it will help them to deliver hard messages with compassion while staying faithful to God’s will for them!

The beauty of the mercy gift—of all the gifts—is found in their differences. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and the mercy is living proof of that.

What are some other ways you can encourage mercy gifts to walk in the beauty of their gifting?