Marina Abdel Malak: Ministry in this world
As an Orthodox Christian, there are moments in my life when I find it hard to ‘minister’ in the world. We hear Bible verses that state that we should spread the word of God to others and share this Good News. On one hand, we see that some people do this by handing out pamphlets. Others do not do anything at all, or so we think. How can we find a balance to this problem in this world, which is full of different religions and faiths?
When Jesus told His disciples to preach the Word, He likely meant that they were to physically go to people and tell His story to others. But today, in this world, this is not always possible. We cannot simply walk up to others and start telling them about Christ. Well, technically, we could. But we probably wouldn’t get much attention or interest. In fact, we would likely be seen as being overpowering or stringent. So, how we minister in this world? How do we exalt Jesus’ name and show others what Jesus is all about?
What we need to remember is that ministry doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going door to door to tell others about God. In fact, if you think about it, there are many other ways to tell people about Christ. Remember that friend of yours who was hopeless after her divorce? Remember how she wanted to go out drinking because she was depressed and felt alone? Now, telling her to go to church instead wouldn’t have been successful. But what if you told her that GOD loved her? That she was beautiful and precious in His sight? What if you took the time to stay with her and comfort her? How about your boss, who always seems to get angry at you for no reason? Remember how he swore at you and called you names because he didn’t like your work? What if you didn’t talk rudely to him? What if you remained calm and tried to work with him to see how you could improve your work? What if, instead of being angry and speaking behind his back to your coworkers, you make an effort to be kind to him?
Are these things easy to do? No. Quite the opposite. It is VERY difficult to be a Christian in this world. We are faced with situations when we want to be rude, angry, and stubborn. But what if you did the things above? Is this not ministry? Are you literally telling people about God all the time? Probably not. But what about your actions and words? Are they Christ-like? Yes. Do they show others that God is indeed living inside of you? Yes. Is this, then, not ministry? It is! See how simply being mindful of your actions and words can be ministry?
You don’t need to convert a person to Christianity to be a minister. You don’t need to stop someone from committing suicide to be Christ-like. You don’t even need to give others the Bible to read. But you SHOULD act and speak as though Christ dwells in You. Because He does. And this is your task, your purpose on this earth: to be a light in the world, a candle of Christ. You might not have converted someone, but maybe now, your divorced friend will no longer drink excessively when angry. Maybe now, she will see that she needs to care for her body, the Temple of Christ. You might not have given your boss a Bible to read, but maybe now, he will be calmer and start to see how his positivity is spreading to his employees. It is these little things that make a difference in the world. Remember that oftentimes, it only takes one grain of rice to tip the scale. One little action or word of kindness can be your ministry. Start becoming aware of your role on earth and how you can bring the light of Christ into the world.