Companionship

02/24/2011

As a missionary, I often go 1 1/2 to 3 months living and working with the same person. I don’t know the person beforehand, but the assignment will come and from that time forward we’re attached at the hip. How do we survive being unable to leave sight or sound of a stranger for 2 years? It’s not easy, but it really comes down to our purpose. We’re both representatives of Christ, seeking to bring His light to others.

Of course, sometimes there are compatibility issues or personality conflicts. We often resolve these through coming closer to Christ. We study His doctrine, seeking to acquire for ourselves His attributes and through our diligent effort to draw nearer to Jesus Christ, we draw nearer to each other. Here’s a cheesy image I made in openoffice.org on a library computer rather hastily.

cheesy image made in openoffice.org on library computer
What also helps two inseparable strangers to get along is to focus on the things you like about them rather than their faults. Focusing on their good qualities will help you to love them, to serve them, and be charitable, while holding onto their faults is counter-productive. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ warns His followers not to seek out others’ faults, simply because other than Christ Himself, all are imperfect. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye.” Repent! Work to perfect yourself as Christ has done. He simplifies it, saying, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” (Matthew 7:1).

Whoever you are stuck with, whether it be your missionary companion, your spouse, your room mate, or a sibling, if you will seek to better yourself and draw closer to Christ, then your companion will be all the better. Let us love our neighbor, as we have been commanded.

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