One of my roles as a career global worker is to train short-term mission volunteers. The material includes discussing biblical “one another” principles—love one another, honor one another, respect one another, serve one another, etc.
It’s easy to love, honor, respect, and serve others who think like we do. It’s usually not a challenge when life’s going well, right? But it’s not so easy when we’re tired or doing life with people whose perspective and personality differs from ours.
Our ministry volunteers come from varied places and backgrounds, and that lends to each person’s uniqueness. Some have accompanied us on multiple mission trips and know what to expect. In contrast, some first-timers come never having traveled outside North America.
Our team arrives at the camp venue exhausted after traveling halfway around the world. Jetlag lingers for days and makes restful sleep difficult. They may have to share a hotel room with a coworker who’s a new acquaintance. They’re served foods different from their norm. And they’re forced to be flexible when plans change due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. These things combined with personality and perspective differences can easily create tension.
I’m grateful for the individuals who joined us for ministry in Romania and Poland this month. They experienced all of the above but rose to the challenge like “one another” champions. They carried each other’s luggage, cared for those who struggled with colds or upset tummies, showed up on time for early morning team meetings, and tackled their assignments with gusto. One gal raised more than enough funds for the trip so she donated her excess to those whose funds lacked. If I had to score their application of the “one another” principles, I’d give them a 10/10. “Go, team!”
Our camps are now over but the need to apply “one another” principles never stops. I’ll spend the next two days in Krakow with my hubby, daughter, and son-in-law. No doubt we’ll have numerous opportunities to put these principles into practice. For instance—we’ll all have our own opinions about where to eat or what site to see, but “one another” encourages us to put others’ preferences first.
How will you apply a “one another” principle this week in your workplace or at home?
#LoveOneAnother #ServeOneAnother #OthersFirst