Among Korean dishes, I like a dish called bibimbap. “Bibim” means mixing, and “bap” is rice. Bibimbap is made by frying various colorful vegetables and meat and placing them on top of rice, then mixing it all together to eat. Eating each vegetable and meat separately is fine, but bibimbap is much more delicious when all the ingredients are mixed and eaten together.
I think it’s the same with the gifts God gives each person. Although we are diverse people with different thoughts and giftings, we can become one through the same confession of faith in Jesus Christ. However, there was a time when I could not respect the various gifts given by God.
I started serving at a church as a youth worker in a group for students from middle school to college. But there wasn’t much I could do. A man named Takuya had already been leading the church’s youth group for a long time, and he wanted to stick to the existing method.
In particular, due to years of praise music-centered gatherings, very few of the teenagers understood the Word or yearned for it. I saw young people enthusiastic about singing praises but indifferent to the Word, and it broke my heart.
When I got tired of the continuing conflict of opinion with Takuya, I humbly cried out to God and prayed. And I decided to put down for a while my own goals and discipleship plans. I realized the importance of acknowledging that each person’s methods and personalities are different, and of doing my best in the work given to me.
As Paul wrote, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). I’ve learned that we need to cooperate with each other’s distinct gifts. This is how God creates the beautiful harmony of unity in differences. Like bibimbap.
Although not everyone can go to the mission field as a missionary, we should remember that each person has a role to play in missionary work. Through everyone’s cooperation, the Great Commission that God has given to us can be accomplished. How will you glorify God in the mission in Japan with the gifts He has given you?
By Sarah, an OMF Missionary