Missions Misunderstood » Blog Archive » Watch Your Language

Posted January 16th, 2009 by E. Goodman

You shouldn’t compare ministries. If we’re all obediently doing what God leads us to do, such comparison shouldn’t even enter our minds.

Nevertheless, we compare.

Consider the words we use when we describe the work we’re involved in. We always seem to point out the huge population of the cities we work in. We spout statistics of “lostness” and “reachedness,” to the thenth of a degree. We talk about how hard it is, how dangerous, and how little we have to work with. No running water. No internet access. No movies in English. No peanut butter.

Boy, do we have it tough. We’re really suffering for Jesus.

James 1:2 tells us to count our trials as joy.  2 Corinthians10:12 says, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”

Some might say, “We don’t mean anything by it.” But what’s the use then, in bringing these things up at all? To guilt people into supporting our work? To receive recognition for our sacrifice (See Matthew 6)? To obey is better than sacrifice, right?

Are we searching to validate our work? Relate the story of how God is orchestrating the expansion of His kingdom. Are we wanting to connect with other believers? Tell of the redemptive relationships you’ve made. Feel the need to convince people of the great spiritual need all around us? Forget about it. If the daily news and ongoing interaction with unbelieving people hasn’t convinced them, your story won’t either.

If God led you to minister to a people, that ministry is valid, important, and right. It needs no justification.  Talk about your ministry, but talk about what really matters. Refuse to compare your ministry to others.

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