The Gifts of Leadership and Mercy

The Gifts of Leadership and Mercy

. . . he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
—Romans 12:8

As we continue to look at the seven spiritual gifts outlined in Romans 12:6–8, we come to the gift of leadership: “he who leads, with diligence.” What does it mean to lead? The gift of leading is both the desire and the ability to coordinate the activities of people to achieve a common goal. People with the gift of leading have the ability to see the big picture. They are very effective at delegation, giving people different tasks to achieve the big goal. They’re able to take a project and break it down into bite-size pieces. They’re able to preside and get things done.

Now, there are some downsides to this spiritual gift. People with the gift of leadership tend to use people in order to achieve a common goal. They are looking at the big picture, and sometimes they just see people in terms of how they can help achieve that big common goal. Sometimes they can be pushy. After all, they are pushing to try to get this goal or this program achieved. They also have to guard against the tendency to lose sight of the spiritual purpose of whatever they’re organizing. Sometimes they emphasize the project so much that they forget the goal behind the project, which is our spiritual growth.

The final gift Paul discusses in Romans 12 is the gift of mercy: “he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” The gift of mercy is the desire and ability to identify with and comfort those who are hurting. People with this gift come alongside those who are hurting—not to lecture them, not to ask them what sin they committed that caused them to hurt, and not to even help them solve their problem. They have the desire to comfort those who are hurting. People who have this gift have the ability to discern the mood of others. People with the gift of mercy can walk into a room, and if somebody is hurting, their radar goes off and they go immediately to that person. People with this gift are sensitive to words or actions that might hurt other people. And they tend to react negatively to people who are insensitive.

Now, there are some downsides to the gift of mercy. One is they can fail to be firm when necessary. A person with this gift may not be firm with other people when they need to. And they can be resentful of other people who lack the gift of mercy. They don’t understand why everybody is not as merciful as they are.

The gifts of leadership and mercy are essential to fulfilling the mission of the body of Christ.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gift — Message 2” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.