February 18, 2013

What's Your Role: Acting vs. Authenticity

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Throughout this season of Lent, we will be posting a devotional series written for us by Johan Plug - a missionary currently serving in Benin.  

Johan and Marijke Plug are serving the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Benin (ERCB) as advisory pastor and pastor's wife/social worker. They are being sent out by an organization called De Verre Naasten as well as the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.

He will exploring what it means for us to find our God-intended, authentic roles in His Kingdom plan.


Vince Knowles lowered his head, and when he raised it and spoke his next line, his voice was thick and hitching. It was a simulacrum of sorrow he’d never approached even in his best rehearsals… That was when I heard the first low sob from the audience… (Stephen King: 11/22/63)

Oh, the reach of an actor! Of the one who submerges himself in his role, who for the sake of his audience and for the power of the story changes for a moment into someone else, a character quite different from himself. We admire his performance. We are moved. And sometimes we are profoundly changed ourselves.

That’s what I thought of, first off, when I was asked to participate in writing these devotions, with as theme:  ‘What’s your role?’ I thought of actors. Each with his or her own part to play. Hoping to change lives by their performance. In this case: on the stage of world missions.

And then I remembered 1 Peter 2.1. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Did you know that the word hypocrisy is from the ancient Greek? That in the context of Greek drama, it was applied to an actor on the theatre stage? Someone pretending to be someone else? And yes, what admiration the performance of a hypocrite could evoke!

In the New Testament, however, ‘playing a role’ is not an admirable thing. It is condemned by Christ and rebuked by the apostles. Service in God’s kingdom is not only to be selfless, it is to be genuine. Perhaps we could even say: not what you do, but whom you are, whom you really are, is what matters.

It’s one of the lessons we have been learning on the field here in Benin. As missionaries, we struggle with our role. And every time again we discover that God acts most effectively, when we stop being actors.



Comments:

John
Feb 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

reminder emails

Anna
Feb 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

May His purpose be fulfilled in my life and in His children. He says. ' obedience is better than sacrifice .

He has directed me to study the early church teachings, in Acts and which Jesus ( Jeshua ) taught and live it as He lived it.

May His purpose for your ministry be fulfilled and may you be blessed.

Josy
Feb 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

Please add me to our list for reminder emails.

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