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How to Respond to Missionary Deterrents

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Written by BGU

For those of us heavily seeking the Lord, we are very aware of the dichotomy between our thinking and the world’s thinking. If you’re a young, aspiring missionary, you may have run into these deterring words from friends and family:

(Please, be mindful that your friends and family are probably saying these things because they love you and want the best for you. Be mindful of this, and always be respectful to them. They love you.)

“But (your name),” they might begin, “America is a mission field too.” This first one is for you who may have recently talked to your parents about going to Peru or Uganda or some other place far away. Your response could be something like this: “Yeah, I totally agree, America has lost people in it as well. We definitely need to reach them, but the people in Peru are equally as lost. They are just as far from God as the people here in Minneapolis. Americans aren’t more important than other peoples, all must be reached with the Gospel. That’s why I’m going.”

“But (your name), God tells us to use wisdom. It’s not very wise do do this.” This is more for those who have a heavy burden to fund missions. Your family may be objecting to you giving away huge amounts of money. Perhaps your response should be as follows: “This is true, God does tell us to use wisdom and to think all things through. But Jesus tells us to not collect for ourselves treasures on earth which will spoil and fade, but treasures in Heaven which will do neither. Jesus also said not to worry because God will provide food and clothing for us who follow him. I am using wisdom. One of the wisest things to do is to trust the Lord and believe what he says. I’m thinking clearly. I’m choosing to believe that the Lord will provide, just like the Bible says.” (Matthew 6:19-34, Proverbs 3:9-10, 25-26, Malachi 3:10)

Again, always be respectful, but don’t be afraid to be firm. Always keep your emotions in check while responding to people’s objections, bringing forth your rebuttal in meekness and humility. If you find yourself losing your temper, stop talking. You’re not being zealous if you’re talking over people while they’re questioning you, you’re just being stupid.

The thing is, they can’t stop you from going (unless you’re a minor), they can only question you. Their questioning will help determine whether you are going to Zimbabwe because of some zealous emotionalism or because you feel a legitimate call from the Lord.  And indeed your going overseas must be from God. If it isn’t, you may find yourself flying back to the U.S. with your tail between your legs. So be appreciative of the hassle they may give you.

For those who are going the way God wants us to go, obedience is the greatest pleasure one could ever have, even when it is painful. Don’t write out a script while answering those questioning you. Be honest. What’s the cry of your heart?

This is no sacrifice, God, here’s my life…

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