I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. (Acts 20:20)
We laughed uncontrollably as the missionary shared her story. Her Spanish was marginal and the locals knew even less English, so their first conversation looked like a game of charades. Forgetting the Spanish word for chicken, the missionary put her hands under her armpits, flapped energetically, and clucked. The locals laughed, but most importantly, they understood! Not only had she communicated with them, but she had also earned their respect. They saw the extent to which she was willing to go in order to communicate and this caused them to open up. This wise woman did not hesitate to do what was necessary in order to better serve the locals.
Having a “whatever it takes” attitude is important as we serve as salt and light in the world. However, just as important is answering the question, “What is helpful in this scenario?” A group of missionaries built a school for a tribal community after noticing the children studying outdoors in the sun. The missionaries immediately decided that the biggest need was for a schoolhouse. The new school went unused because the elders thought it cruel to confine children to a building for them to learn.
When you take the time and get to know others, you will often hear their needs. It is up to us to listen and clarify as we seek to serve as Christ’s body.
Help others in the way they need to be helped.
Angela Golden Bryan is a graduate of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Her top spiritual gifts are encouragement, service, and compassion. She and her husband live in South Florida and enjoy visits from their two adult children.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.