October 22 I Friday
1 Timothy 2
“If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.” —Galatians 6:3
As a missionary for over 20 years, I am astounded at how broken my missionary eyesight can be. I was first sent by God to the inner city of Philadelphia. I often thought, when I embarked on the missionary endeavour, that I was bringing the knowledge of God to the lost and the blind. In my arrogance, I viewed others as lost sinners, unholy and unclean, and saw the importance of my role to reveal and teach who God is. Over time, Jesus began to chip away at that flawed understanding. Following Jesus led me to learn that before I got there as a missionary, He was already at work. I was not bringing Him to a region where He was not present; He was already there, long before I was, at work in ways that I could not even see. He needed to teach me to see others differently, not with a judgmental eye on who they were or what kind of life they were living, but to see them as He saw them.
What I found through the very people I thought I was sent to was that they were actually the ones sent to me. In fact, we were sent to each other. Oftentimes, through their lives, I learned something about God; and through my life, they learned something about God. We were mutually edified by one another’s faith, and it was through a shared life that God reconciled both of us, not only to Himself, but to one another. If we simply approach the mission endeavour as us knowing and others unknowing, we have a hard time seeing how God is at work in the world.
When we study the Gospels, we see Jesus always going to a solitary place where He prayed. He was seeking God in order to be in sync with the Spirit, so that He could see how the Father and the Spirit were at work. It is impossible for us to join God if we do not see the situation correctly. This requires discernment and walking in step with the Spirit.
Some of us may need to search our hearts and repent of the ways we see others. Paul tells us, “… do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3). We ought to realize that we are not better than others, but are all sinners in need of a Saviour. May we heed to Paul’s teaching: “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited” (Romans 12:16).
Prayer: Gracious God, I repent that I do see myself higher than I ought. Please forgive me for being conceited and help me see others as You see them. Thank You, God.