- And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. - Acts 2:44-45
In Acts 9:36, Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, was noted to be “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.” That she is known for her deeds of kindness and charity implies that she stood out among her peers in this regard. The phrase deeds of kindness (ergōn agathos) refers to her generosity. The term charity (eleēmosúnē) refers to alms or monies given to the poor. Based on the fact that she continually generous and provided financial assistance to the poor, it can be deduced that Tabitha had the gift of helps.
Closely related to the gift of helping is the gift of giving. The term giving (metadídōmi) means to give or share material gain with others. Specifically, it refers to distributing alms to the poor or needy. In Romans 12:8, the gift of giving is to be exercised with liberality.
- or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives (metadídōmi), with liberality (haplótēs); he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. - Romans 12:8
Alongside the gifts of helping and giving is the gift of mercy. The term mercy (eleaō) means to have pity or show compassion to someone. Whereas helps and giving are typically used to minister to physical needs, the gift of mercy is used to minister to emotional and spiritual needs. The gift of mercy is more than feeling pity. It is taking action to alleviate the emotional or spiritual needs of others. Those graced with the gift of mercy have a unique ability to sense the hurts of others and respond Biblically with kindness and gentleness. In Romans 12:8, the gift of mercy is to performed with cheerfulness. Cheerfulness (hilarótēs) denotes the idea of dispelling gloom and identifies the purpose the gift of mercy. In ministering to the emotional and spiritual needs of others, it lifts their spirits and brings them gladness.