GMI Core Values
Love, grace, humility, truth and wisdom need to be the key components of your spiritual life, if you are to be successful on the mission field. Many people fail even before they are settled in the mission quarters because they lack these crucial assets. They go to foreign lands with the assumption that they know everything. They look down on those they have come to help with “I am better than you” attitude. Sensing this, their hosts become resentful and uninterested in the message of such prideful servants of Jesus Christ.
There is no substitute for agape love. You must love them. It cannot be faked— people know if you love them—even if you do not speak the same language. It is in your voice, your eyes, your body language. It is said that “people do not care what you know, until they know that you care.” They must see the love of Jesus in you and your action. It is the only commandment the Lord gave to us, “A new commandment I give to you, that you should love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). He repeated the word love three times in two verses. The love is the only badge that shows we are different. Agape love cannot be concealed; it is observable. “By this [love] all men will know that you are My disciples.” People will observe; see the difference and acknowledge that you are different.
This real tangible love is all-important. It is the one indispensable element that builds a bridge between you and someone who looks different, speaks different, eats different foods and moreover thinks differently than you. But you both are made in the image of God and He desires that none should perish, and that all should grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But can you love someone you do not know? Yes! It flows from your spiritual life. God loves them—and He will give you His love for them. “For the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love” (Gal. 5:22). You can have genuine love and compassion for the unbeliever who is destined to spend eternity in hell. You can have the desire to reach out in love and compassion to the believer tangled in a web of false doctrine. This love is what gave Paul the desire to be all things to all people that he might win some. So, begin with love and build upon life giving, transforming agape love.
Your life and action must be woven from the threads of grace. You vertically “received grace upon grace” from the Lord; in the same way and proportion you must reciprocate horizontally to those around you (John 1:16). Deal with people in grace. Actions speak louder than words; hence your actions are the best way to explain grace. “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Thess. 2:8)
Humility means teachability. It is a mental attitude, which is developed with time through studying and practicing of Scriptures. On the other side of the coin is arrogance. It is also a mental attitude, where one thinks he or she knows it all, or is somebody, when, we all are a nobody. Arrogance is the Christian’s greatest enemy lurking about to render one useless in God’s Vineyard. Resist it at every turn of your life and ministry. “But He gives greater grace. Therefore, it says: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). Always remember that you are what you are by the grace of God (1 Cor.15:10).
You must be armed with Gospel truth if you are to reach the unreached and lead them to Christ. You must also be well- rounded in God’s Word (1 Peter 3:15) to combat heresy. “Many false prophets [teachers] have gone out into the world” (John 4:1). Missionaries with false religions or bad theology have often gone ahead of you. Arm yourself with biblical answers to questions confused people might ask you. To do this, you must study God’s Word and allow it to speak to your heart daily. Search His Word like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).
In teaching them the truth, the apostle Paul tells us how best to accomplish it: “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Let them know that you truly love them. Don’t force the truth down anyone’s throat. Do not be argumentative. Do not use the Word as a confrontational sword. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot do without God’s wisdom. It is essential in life and your missionary endeavor. You need wisdom in dealing with people of different cultures, ethnicity and social and economic backgrounds. You need wisdom in handling life’s issues and exigencies. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).