"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)In our culture, customer service is a big deal. But for those in customer service jobs, sometimes it seems you can have a perfect record and have that reputation broken by one complaint. One customer who was not happy goes on your permanent record and you job goes into jeopardy. Soon, every performance review goes back to this one mistake, even if it was years ago. When applying for another job, your one mistake can be mentioned and shared.
I often hear of so many businesses being discredited after one mistake. After 3 years of service, your cable bill was too high this month, you complain to your friends and now everyone knows. You didn't like your hair cut from your normal hair dresser and now you are in the process of getting her fired because she wouldn't give you a refund. Believe me when I say the negative always trumps the positive when it comes to customer service.
In a country with so many issues (poverty, disease, corruption etc.), it is very easy to look in and see all the bad. But if we only focused on the bad things as Christians, we would spend all our time talking about when Jesus lost his temper in the temple or how this person did this sin and this person is sinning right now. If I sat here, in Congo, and focused on only the bad, I would easily burnout. I could become depressed about the man with a permanent limp from polio, the children forced to beg on the street because their parents can’t feed them, or the way the “roulage” hassle me for money because they didn't get paid this month.
No. I can’t and I won’t. We recently had a meeting for our entire program to discuss our ministry plan; in other words, why we are here and what are we trying to accomplish. The word of the day was “glimmer.” We are not medical missionaries and cannot heal the broken man, but we fly in medical missionaries. We are not nutritionists who teach parents how to correctly feed their family with their meager income, but we fly in nutritionists. We don’t go around handing out money to every poor person we see because that often exacerbates the problem, but we share the gospel to feed their hearts. Even though we accomplish these deeds, we don’t always see the rewards or the benefits that occur. But occasionally, God will give us a glimmer of hope. We will meet a person who benefited from one of the medical missionaries and is alive today to share their story. We will visit a small village and see the children with full bellies. We will meet someone of authority who is attending church and is eager to learn about God and how to change the hearts of his coworkers. Much like a match struck in a dark room, God’s light will always shine through the darkness.
Will I chose today to look at the light and be content or will I chose to focus on what little I can see in the dark and be unhappy?