If you have been around church long, you’ve most likely taken a Spiritual Gifts Test at some point. Truthfully, most of us already know what our gifting's are, these tests are more for the benefit of the church to know what area of ministry you are most suited to in their program of choice.
Not surprisingly, I always score very low on mercy and compassion. Shocking I know. Interestingly enough, my three closest friends all score low in that area as well. Seriously, if there were negative numbers in that category the four of us would all be in the negative.
Now, before all of you emotional people label us as uncaring and cold, let me just clear this up for you, because really you couldn’t be further from the truth. We care deeply. We care about what choices landed you in the situation you’re in, what steps can be taken to get you out of that situation and what can be done to ensure that the process doesn’t get repeated. We care enough to walk into hell armed with only a water pistol to bring you out. We care about seeing a life changed by God. Whether it feels good or bad isn’t of any real concern. We care too much to leave people in the hole they’re in.
Interestingly enough, one of these three low mercy gals asked me this questions recently about my trip to Ethiopia.
“Why on earth did YOU go on a missions trip? We have very similar personalities and I know that the last place on earth I’d want to be is on the mission field."
Now, she didn’t mean that she didn’t care about those people and their plight. She meant that there was no way in heck she was going to go sit and cry with, and about, these folks, (like she see’s most missions folks do) and she knew it wasn’t likely that I did either.
The reason I was asked to go on this trip, and the reason I went was BECAUSE of my personality, not in spite of it. We were going into people’s homes, peoples lives. There was a need for someone who could go in, see the situation for what it was without gasping in horror “OH MY GAWD”…because sometimes that would have been the emotional persons first response, and rightly so. There was a need for someone who could look at the facts, determine a course of action and if necessary look at the emotional leader of the group and say “Get a grip girl.”
There was a need for someone who would GO, even when they didn’t FEEL like it.
Did I cry on this trip? No. Did I seethe with rage at the injustice and inhumanity of it? Yes. Am I involved in ways to make a difference now that I’m home? Yes.
The Apostle Paul wasn’t a warm and fuzzy kind of guy, but he was effective in what he was called to do. Love isn’t an emotion. It’s a choice. There are those of us, who choose to love…whether we “feel like it” or not. We have a place, and a calling…and we just might not fit the mold, and I’m ok with that.