“Be kind and compassionate to one another,forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
I saw a grand ole 1966 movie the other night that made me so sad. The movie was “Hawaii” (set in the late 19th century), and it told the story of a young rigid New England missionary who travels to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii planning to convert the innocent, loving natives.
The scenery was marvelous, the acting was pretty good, and the depiction of the loving nature of the Hawaiian natives was refreshing. Unfortunately, the young missionary (Abner Hale-freshly graduated from Yale) had only head- knowledge of God’s Word. He failed horribly in his mission because he refused to see the cultural differences between his rigid teaching of the Bible and the innocent loving manner of these isolated islanders.
I couldn’t help but think about current 21st century missionaries who travel to foreign lands hoping to teach the Word of God; and I wish I could send this movie to everyone starting work in the mission field.
Sometimes, it is easy to seek to justify our wrong by making the wrongs of others look worse. But, in doing so, we lose the true meaning of the Gospel and deny grace. We become like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11-12 who boastfully claimed: “God, I thank You that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers…I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”
I don’t think we realize that by constantly judging others, we are failing to see our own faults. And sometimes it becomes a habit, being too critical of others.
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:2-4
We travel to the Dominican Republic with SCORE International two or three times a year to share the Gospel under the umbrella of Baseball; and we reach thousands players, fans and coaches. But, we also have many missionaries living on this island who minister to the Dominican women and their families. It is rewarding to see how our SCORE missionaries lovingly reach out to these soft hearted people to teach the Gospel. I admire the sacrificial love I see displayed in our missionaries. Their life is different from the 21st Century life in the USA, but they live on this small island because they want to be available for the many Dominicans who need their guidance and love. Their life is not easy, and sometimes I know they must miss the conveniences we so often take for granted in the USA. I do admire these sacrificial missionaries who choose to live an often tough daily life just to spread the precious Word of our Lord.