Thinking like a missionary

qmark… Part of the Becoming a Missionary series.

My wife called me this morning in tears. She works the night shift and sometimes has to work with a guy who has a habit of upsetting almost everyone he works with.

Today was the first time he had made her that upset and my first suggestion to her was that she file a complaint.

She shouldn’t have to work in an environment where her co-workers reduce her to tears. Right?

She has a right to work in a safe environment. Right?


Then something started nagging at me.

If we truly are living as missionaries in this land, then do we have to think a little differently?

I believe that the answer is a resounding YES!

You see, I cannot figure a way to file a complaint against this man with his employers and then tell him how much Jesus loves him.

  • One more complaint might get him fired. Then do we go visit with him and his family and say “Sorry we got you fired, it was your own fault, but let me tell you about how you can get forgiveness from Jesus”?
  • When we meet him and his family in the store, how do we say “We filed a complaint against you that led to you being fired. Don’t you just want to be Christians, like us?”

Now, I’m not trying to say that as Christians we should just roll over and take any beating that comes our way but I AM suggesting that there is another way, a more Godly way, the missionary way.

If we want to take something to a higher authority, we should take it to the highest authority. On our knees. In prayer.

We need to learn to trust God to stand up for himself and his children.

If we are here as missionaries, then our comfort and happiness is not our first priority. Our comfort and happiness play second-fiddle to our desire to share the good news.

Debbie’s job is just her job. Being a missionary is her calling. Jobs come and go, callings stay until Almighty God changes them.

Maybe the alternative way is that, instead of retaliating aggressively against this man, we should take him out to dinner. Maybe instead of fighting against his abrasive attitude we should befriend him and try to help him overcome whatever is causing it.

Romans 12:20 talks about this:

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

It is easy for us to look at the rights we are given by society and claim those rights as God-given. It is much harder for us to look past our own struggles and hurts and act in a way that will open doors for us to share the good news of unconditional, unfailing love and forgiveness.

It’s easy to think like the world – much harder to think like a missionary!