The Bible reminds us that “judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”(James 2:13) Those who are endowed by the Holy Spirit with the gift of mercy are blessed indeed.
Since mercy is so obviously cherished by God, is there any downside for those who operate in that gift? Yes. As in all spiritual gifts, it is possible to get out of whack. With mercy, I’ve noticed it usually happens in one of two ways.
First, mercy people often can’t say no to the needs of others and so it’s possible they end up being used and abused by immature “grabbers”. I remember one such “grabber” in a former church. She would latch onto a mercy person with one crisis after another until they finally realized she was a spiritual leech. Once they were sucked dry, she would move on to the next unsuspecting mercy soul.
Second, mercy people sometimes have such an “I must fix it” mindset; they thwart the work of the Holy Spirit. It is difficult for a person with the mercy gift to see anyone in pain but there are times when pain is exactly what a person needs to experience. Much growth can come but if we always fix things for people, it won’t happen.
We need more mercy in the world and if you are one of those who naturally has it, Romans 12:8 says to do so “with cheerfulness.”Petition though, that God will also give you the gift of wisdom. Ah yes, mercy seasoned with wisdom. That’s an unbeatable combo!