Monday, November 23, 2009

I Don't Have the Gift of Mercy

Several times, over the years, I've heard visionary pastors use this phrase in sermons and conversation:

I don't have the gift of mercy!

When they say that, it's never in an apologetic manner. They don't seem to feel bad about being "mercy deficient." In fact, it's more like they're bragging about it.

Whenever I hear a pastor boast about unmerciful he is, I cringe.

"Oh, don't say that!! If you struggle with being a merciful person -- that's a spiritual maturity issue! That means you don't love people very much. Why would any pastor brag about not loving people?

People who operate without mercy tend to be bullies and jerks. Who wants a bully or a jerk for a pastor?

Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

4 comments:

Larry said...

Maybe they mean "I'm not going to be a spineless push-over"

Steve Gerich said...

To be merciful is all about what it means to be a neighbor. After telling the Good Samaritan parable Jesus asks "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The answer was "the one who had mercy on him". Go and do likewise.

Mark O Wilson said...

Larry, it is a mistake to confuse mercy with spinelessness. Sometimes, the most courageous thing to do is an act of mercy.

Steve, right on. I agree 100%

Anonymous said...

"Who wants a bully or a jerk for a pastor?"

Not Me!! Been there, done that. But you are correct. We seem to have many, many pastors who feels this is an admirable trait to brag about.

And I agree with you Mark. There is a major difference between being and bully and having a spine.