The gift of Wisdom
Primary Text: 1 Corinthians 12:
The gift of Wisdom is the ability to discern the mind of Christ and apply scriptural truth to a specific situation in order to make the right choices and help others move in the right direction. Its purpose is to apply scriptural truth and God’s heart in everyday situations so that decisions can be made that are pleasing to God; it is often coupled with the gifts of teaching and knowledge.
A person who has the gift of Wisdom is skilled in the art of Godly living, has a high level of Godly knowledge and the life experience to understand its application. Here’s a little story: Ever since I was about 20, people have come to me asking for help with personal problems, very often centering around disputes and disagreements. One time, when I was in my very early 20’s a married couple that was nearly twice my afe sat me down and asked for help in their marriage; I was dumbfounded! (I hadn’t even been on a date; what did I know about this sort of thing?) Well, they asked me to hear them out anyway, so I did. After they explained the situation, my mind was totally blank, and then I noticed that I was speaking. I didn’t really quite understand everything I said to them, but it seemed to make a huge difference to each, and they were profoundly grateful, and as far as I know, they are still happily together. It would be another 25 years before I understood what was going on in that instance, and others like it.
There are three basic cautions about this gift, and by now you can probably guess what they are:
• Believing that you are the source of the wisdom.
•Using wisdom with impure motives.
•Looking down on those who don’t have the gift of Wisdom.
Evidence that you may have this gift would include:
Making the right decision in difficult situations comes easily to you.
• People seek you out for Godly counsel about their problems.
•You have a practical nature when it comes to the applications of wisdom.
• You possess good common sense.
Maybe I should add this to cautions, but it occurs to me that there is also the danger of thinking that because you have this gift, you come to think you are always right, well you’re not because you aren’t the source of the wisdom, and at least in my case, God still teaches humility!
The gift of Mercy
Primary Text: Romans 12:8
The gift of Mercy is the ability to feel sincere empathy and compassion in a way that results in practical relief for peoples’ hurts, pain and suffering; its purpose is to bring relief, comfort and hope to people who are hurting in order to bring them to a place of peace and productivity.
The cautions are:
• A tendency to see life with a slightly negative perspective.
•The inability to say no, or thinking you can meet everyone’s need.
•Actions based on emotions without logic.
•Failure to be firm when necessary.
Evidence that you may have this gift:
• You are drawn toward the hurts of others.
•You are easily and fully in control of your emotions.
•The suffering of others disturbs your soul.
•Peoples’ feelings are more important to you than what they do.
•You cheerfully inconvenience yourself for the needs of others.