You don’t know me, so telling you the results of my Clifton Strengths Finder’s test may seem a little forward of me. But if you indulged me for a few more sentences, it might make sense.
Coming in at No.5 is empathy.
It’s seemingly credible, I know, yet at times, it can be one of my biggest weaknesses. You see, empathy on its own can be soul destroying. When you put yourself into someone else shoes, you can visualise what it would be like to live that way and suffer as they would suffer, sometimes feeling similar emotions. Watching the news can be an ordeal for highly empathetic folk.
Empathy can be a total crutch when I’m feeling vulnerable. By internalising the pain, I can become incredibly selfish about it. This kind of feeling helps no one, but I have a plan!
With the grace of God, I’m trying to propel empathy into action. Action that looks like compassion.
What I often need to understand that it is not about ‘doing good’ or ‘spreading love’ for the sake of it but that Mercy, in its essence, is true obedience to the will of God.
Those who choose to follow Christ are not just here to feel empathy for those in misery but in obedience, we are called to extend a helping hand to them. What’s even better is that I don’t need to do this in my strength.
Jesus says “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
This scripture comes with the promise that when we choose to be in covenant with God, He gifts us His character. So I am infused with His character of mercy, therefore I can freely express this to others.
I’m still learning about mercy but my hope is that in my weakness, God’s strength (which let’s face it trumps any Clifton’s Test), would be found, seen, heard and actioned through me, for grace to the world and to the glory of God.