I have been a missionary - long term and short term - in other countries. I am a missionary in my own culture. All Christians are missionaries. No, I don't mean "missionary" in the sense that all Christians have teaching ability - some do not have the skills required to teach (more is required than desire). I mean missionary in the sense that every Christian by lifestyle represents God.

Age makes me realize this is an incredibly difficult challenge. How do we represent a God who loves so much that He knowingly allowed His Son to die for those who offended Him the most? How do we represent a God whose patience endured for centuries in the face of human insults? How do we represent a God who is perfect when we are not? How do we represent a God who responds to human offenses with mercy and forgiveness when there is trusting repentance? How do we represent a God whose character is everything we are not?

Perhaps the easiest thing we can do is identify our worst offences honestly and attack them. Perhaps the most difficult thing we can do is to seek to live by His values - 24 hours a day, 7 days week, in every situation - when we know failure is guaranteed.

Perhaps that life of commitment is coupled with a dependence on God that is quick to admit failure, quick to repent, and quick to apologize to those who have been hurt as we trust the mercy of a forgiving God.

Blessed is the person who does not trust in his own goodness!

But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me (Psalm 13:5).

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 12 February 2012

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell