Once upon a time, many years ago, when I first started at Mission Network News, I got a call from a listener who was talking to me about what she perceived to be an error in one of our stories.
Essentially, what it boiled down to was my arguing with her over an assertion that the country of ‘Mozambikway’ was next to Indonesia. Our conversation ended abruptly when she hung up on me. I spent a lot of time ruefully shaking my head at her stubbornness, her refusal to know what the reality was and found myself generally quite puffed up with pride.
Today, our team still jokes about Mozambikway, but now that country has joined a list of misnomers (like Kajikistan) that came from my own lip trips, stumbles and assorted other bloopers where my mouth did not quite cooperate with my brain.
My point is this: sometimes, in the quest for kingdom building, we lose sight of the purpose and get stuck and proud over what we think we know. The Gospel is not about showing off. In fact, anyone who has ever been working as the hands and feet of Christ anywhere around the world knows that the moment you make the Gospel about you, you’ve lost your credibility as a ‘little Christ’.
The first Commandment is ‘No other Gods’, followed by ‘No idols’, and then ‘Don’t misuse My Name’. When we forget our purpose for being here, we forget not only ourselves, but also our message. Pride in our knowledge and pride in our excellence of work becomes the next brick we are making in the pyramids. It’s so easy to lose sight of who God is, who we are and we get hung up on little arguments that ultimately do not service unity in a world that needs a Savior. Ouch.
The Shema is a great reminder of who we are: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” ~Deut 6:4-9
Yes, at MNN, we strive for excellence, accuracy and Truth. We want to motivate believers to respond to what they’re hearing. We encourage you, our brothers and sisters to pray, give, or go. Still, there’s Truth, and then there’s truth. Arguing for the sake of being right has no place in the Kingdom. What is true and real will always be so, in God’s creation. What that means is that for some people, Mozambikway is next to Indonesia…which is just south of Kajikistan in the world of mistakes.
I’m not advocating mis-education or ignorance, I’m merely pointing out that perhaps in that argument, I missed the forest for the trees. 15 years later, I realize that I missed her interest in taking Bibles to an island (the Moluccas) off the coast of Indonesia.
If part of the Shema is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”, let’s do that as we search for and share God’s truths with one another. Mission Network News plays a role in this walk for many.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Let’s journey together off the same map…