10.23.2011

Missionary Positions: How a CPA does it.

Today's guest post comes from blogger/writer, Heather Sunsuri, who reminds us about what a mission field really looks like. I love what she adds to the conversation:

Am I really that obnoxious, unlikable, unwelcoming? Do I smell? Or is nearly everyone I work with completely miserable (a.k.a. in need of a giant hug)?

I can be at the office where I work on tax returns (yes, the IRS kind) six months out of the year and not have a single person say hello to me before noon on any given day. That’s after passing a host of not-so-friendly faces in the hallway, or the kitchen while pouring coffee—even if I first extend a pleasant greeting.

I wish I was kidding. I’ve even made it a joke to my husband before by sending him a quick text around lunch time. One word. “Twelve.” As in twelve—the number of professionals I’ve passed in the hallway who haven’t smiled today. Or, “four.” Out of the ten people I said hello to this morning, four said hello back.

I don’t know about you, but that shatters my heart into tiny pieces most of the time. Other times, I’m having my own bad day, and it just pisses me off.

Several weeks ago, my pastor was sermonizing (it is too a word) on patience, or something unrelated to God’s actual message to me that day, when he said the following (and I’m paraphrasing):

“Maybe you think people you work with aren’t a Christ-loving bunch, and maybe you should look for a different job, or…”

His voice trailed off while my mind wandered into temporary dream world where I only worked with people who always made sure the printer had paper and everyone smiled and helped one another until every last person was done with their projects each day. No one kept score of who worked the most hours or completed the toughest assignments.

As I sank deeper and deeper into judgy land and my dream job where I got to wear jeans and flip flops, my pastor’s voice got loud again.

“…or-OR-OR, you could think of your workplace as your mission field.”

My head jerked back to attention, both eyes attempted to jump for it. WHAT!!??!? You expect me to share Jesus’s love with those people? But I’m not supposed to talk religion and Jesus at work. In case you hadn’t heard, that’s considered politically incorrect or some such nonsense.

God stepped in at this point. That’s never stopped you before from talking about things you’re ‘not supposed to.’

Huh. Good point. Then God pointed to this:

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5

In other words (and I’m kind of talking to myself now), stop being an egocentric loser, believing others have it figured out any better than you do.  The purpose of missioning is to spread the love of Christ, not be crushed when it’s not returned to you. Christ loved every single person he hiked by, carrying their heavy weight. Your heavy weight. He loved the ones who cast stones, the ones who judged, and even the ones who frowned and pretended not to see him. Did it hurt his feelings? I imagine so. It hurts God’s feelings every single time we turn away from Him or any of his children.

But he loves us and offers us grace despite the times we snub Him.

The whole world is our mission field. We only need to “have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Story after story of Jesus loving the harlots, the thieves, and even those awful tax collectors paints a picture of what our great commission looks like here on earth. We don’t have to recite Matthew and John to spread the gospel. But we must spread love, offer grace and “think of others as better than ourselves.” We must take an interest in all those around us, even the ones who growl at us getting off the elevator. Maybe even especially those.



Do you find it difficult to love after you’ve been snubbed?


You can find more good stuff from Heather on her website, and by following her on the Twitter machine.