Tag Archives: spiritual gifts mercy

The Trio: Coworker Coexistence

trio of chairs

image courtesy of satit_srihin at freedigitalphotos.net

Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. (Romans 12:6, The Message)

I struggled with which of the Trio to begin with because I have a lot to say about each of them. However, I’m starting with the coworker, because though I met him last of the three, he is the first one who influenced me deeply.

The Introduction

Coworker and I met on my first day on the job. I knew from the first moment we met that he was a mercy gift; I actually told my friend that my coworker was a mercy male, and I knew it was going to be difficult. He is my age—we graduated the same year, but he is already in a high ranking government position, making hand-over-fist money-wise, and one of the smartest people I know in his area of expertise. One time, he was talking shop in my office, and I thought, “wow, this guy is smart, good-looking, and wealthy–what is wrong with him?”

I quickly found out: he lacks identity in Jesus.

Within one week of working with him, I could tell that my coworker was rebelling against his mercy gifting. I could see it in his lack of compassion for others; the way he shuts everyone out, the way he refuses to let anyone care for him at all; the way he treats the people who work for him, the almost robotic nature of his relationships with others; the way he wraps his identity in his job; the rumors about his sexuality. I could see the struggles he was having, even though he tried to hide them.

The Involvement

I began praying for him and speaking very heavily into his identity as a mercy male. I wrote him notes to thank him for showing generosity and to encourage the compassion within him that I knew was there. We had a bit of a dispute—which is NOT the mercy’s strong point, as they just can’t deal with the emotions of conflict—and I made it a point to come into the office on the weekend, when I knew I could catch him, to talk the issue out with him. He hugged me (something that no one in our office has ever experienced, EVER), and we resolved the issue. I spoke life-giving words to him whenever I could, and my other coworkers noted that even they noticed the difference in him.

But after six months of praying fervently for him and speaking into his identity, I stopped. I found myself dealing with feelings for him that I did not want to have. I struggled so badly and felt so despondent about the experience that I asked a friend to take over the prayers and I pulled back from him significantly. And I watched much of the positive changes in him fade away.

During these last six months, I have seen him become even more withdrawn, argumentative, and wholly focused on himself. He has distanced himself from staff without reason and refuses to engage them when asked. He recently said that he could “take care of himself, because he had been doing so his entire life, and he didn’t need anyone.” And even worse, as I have not prayed for him, I have seen my own heart harden towards him.

The Importance

Praying is imperative, and one of the things that I said I was going to do for the mercy male, regardless of what else I felt led to do, was pray for them. And one reminder I gave myself was, “what if I’m the only person in this entire world that is praying for him?” I don’t know that his parents are Christians, and he doesn’t have many friends. So pondering that question drives home to me the importance of bringing him before the Lord. But I’m also under this realization: prayer is not sovereign; God is sovereign. God doesn’t need me or my prayers to work in my coworker’s life. God needs me to pray so that I can cultivate a better relationship with Him and become more like Him in my daily interactions with everyone, including and perhaps especially with my coworker. I want to see him walking in His God-given identity as a mercy gift, and doing so cheerfully (Romans 12:8). I want Him to know the Lord as I do.

I was worried that I was getting too close to my coworker through my prayers. Now, instead of worrying, I am learning the importance of trusting the Lord to protect my heart as I fulfill His directive to pray. And though he doesn’t know it, I have my coworker to thank for this invaluable lesson.

Breaking Bad: The Introduction

image courtesy of akeeris / freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of akeeris / freedigitalphotos.net

I think that, after that last blog, it’s really important for me to talk about the mercy male in general and who he is. Otherwise, when I say things like, “mercy males really struggle,” you aren’t going to have a clue what I mean.

I’ve blogged about the spiritual gifts before (read about mercy gift here), but it was short and sweet, just to give you an indication about each gift. But I want to go into the mercy male in depth—in what might even be a longer blog than normal because…I’ve always been a bit inclined towards the mercy male. Ever since I started studying spiritual gifts, I have believed that there isn’t enough research and study on the mercy male. While the mercy qualities extend to mercy-gifted females as well, because this post is about the mercy male, I’m only going to refer to males. It’s because mercy males are so beautiful and intricate, and yet so misunderstood and probably struggle more than any other gift.

I don’t want to cover every single characteristic of the mercy gift here—there are many. But I do want to focus on enough of them that you understand who mercy males are. So allow me to introduce you to the mercy male:

Mercy males are those guys that you can talk to about anything. They are highly sensitive and beautifully emotional, and thus, they attract tons of female friends and usually have very few male friends. In fact, though they have a large number of acquaintances, they find connection with only a select few. They don’t like conflict and get along with everyone—they rarely have enemies. They want to make everyone comfortable at all times—make sure everyone is having a good time. They really like connecting with others, but not just a surface connection: they long for deep, intimate connections with others—intimacy of soul as well as physical touch. They desire hugs and physical contact. In other words, these are the kind of guys that need to be friends with their exes.

Mercy males want to talk about their feelings, but they must be given time to process those feelings. Mercy males actually receive and process information uniquely–a free-flow, circular expression as opposed to the logic-driven, left-brained other gifts. They need a lot of processing time for several reasons: first, mercy gifts process everything through their emotions, which takes longer. In addition, they don’t like hurting people at all—so they will take their time making decisions to make sure they’re not choosing sides or causing pain to anyone involved. Thanks to their detailed emotional processing, they also have deeper and better understanding, insight, and wisdom than the other gifts. And yet, so many times I have seen a truth in a mercy’s life, and I have said it, only to have a mercy come back to me MONTHS later and say, “Remember when you said…” They can’t be pressed for information they haven’t fully processed yet…and still, they always are.

Most mercy males are incredibly artistic and creative (Hollywood is full of mercy males!), whether it is music, art, dance, cooking, performing, or even all of the above. This is partially due to their free-flowing expressive nature and combines beautifully with the way they receive and process emotionally. (Chris Evans, by the way, is an actor—and a dancer, and a musician, and an artist, and a director.) This is not to say that all artists and creative men are mercy males, nor does it imply that mercy males are only artists and musicians, etc. Instead, the mercy male can be found anywhere from the business world to the auto shop to the tech field. I know a mercy male who is an incredibly talented mechanic…this is because mercy gifts have an incredible understanding of how the parts work together to make the whole, and they bring alignment where things are “out of whack.” This mercy mechanic brings his creativity and expressive nature into his work every day and produces an incredible product for his customers. Mercy males are given this creativity and eye for beauty for specific reasons in the church—worship. Worship is crucial and worship is in the mercy DNA.

Mercy males may feel shunned in a society that expects men to dominate everything. In fact, most mercy males don’t even want to be mercy males. They may accept facets of their gift (like sensitivity) but many desire the more “manly” gifts like prophet or administrator. I once had a mercy male tell me that he wanted my prophet gift—he wanted to be bold and to have my decisiveness. He wanted those things because our society has told mercy males that they are not manly enough. He had struggled his entire life with having his sexuality questioned, simply because he was a mercy gift.

And that’s the plight of the mercy male. How do they deal with all these emotions they have and having to process everything through those emotions? How do they deal with the sensitivity, the emotional burden they often “bear” for others? How do they deal with the need for physical touch and intimacy? How do they deal with these seemingly “female” characteristics in a world yelling at them to be more “manly”? Having been built for worship of God, how do mercy males deal with the need to worship and connect with the Lord–especially if they don’t know Him? Unfortunately, too many mercy males deal with their gift in unhealthy ways. They are often left with deep anxiety that transcends what the other gifts may know or understand—anxiety from not knowing how to deal with their large emotional capacity, anxiety over how to deal with the expectations society has for them that does not take into account their incredible gifting. They struggle with sexuality in many different ways—homosexuality, excessive promiscuity, extreme sexual practices to fill the need for physical touch and intimacy. They suffer from substance abuse issues more than any other gift—substances to numb the emotions and pain they don’t want or understand, to help them be “more like” the other six gifts and think logically. They struggle with identity issues more than any other gift—wanting to be someone they are not. They feel misunderstood more than any other gift—because they haven’t connected in worship with their true Creator who understands them completely and designed them to be exactly as they are. The struggle is real for mercy males.

I’ve consistently asked God to break my heart for the things that break His, and this time, God has obliged. This time, my heart is breaking bad for the mercy male.