WHERE DO YOU FIT IN? YOUR ROLE IN A GLOBAL PROBLEM
By Renod Bejjani
Think about your own story
Imagine for a moment you’d never heard about Jesus or the story of God’s redemptive love for humanity. Imagine no one shared their Christian faith with you—how would your life look different?
Although I was raised as a Christian, when I was eighteen, I was angry, and I walked away from God. During this time, I had countless believers in my life who pointed me back to Christ and patiently reminded me of his love. These Christians and those who shared their faith with you were living out the divine role God gave them through his Word.
Consider your biblical purpose
You are likely familiar with the verse where Jesus identifies as “the greatest commandment” in Matthew [22:36]:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Jesus continues on to share the second greatest commandment:“Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is one example of the scripture behind the first essential and the two main purposes for our lives: to know God and make Him known. God desires a close relationship with us and entrusts us to fill the earth with bearers of his image.
However, despite his clear instruction and examples throughout scripture, we have been (I know I was!) inconsistent and even neglectful at spiritually multiplying. After facing persecution from violent Islamic groups beginning around 600 A.D., Christians generally stopped speaking of Christ and seeking to make him known, helping give way to the spread of Islam. Ninety-two percent of people in the Middle East are now Muslim, a region where Jesus once lived and taught.
There is the same kind of inaction in the United States today as well, and the Bible shows us how missing or neglecting that purpose negatively impacts our world and our future. Even after I grew to love God again, I was not actively making Him known and God convicted me of this secondary part of my life’s purpose.
Take a baby step: befriend a Muslim neighbor
This might sound like a big responsibility, but it starts with very simple actions. The first is to meet a Muslim neighbor. If you don’t know any Muslims in your life right now, consider meeting one through taking one of these steps:
- Visit a Mediterranean restaurant: Jason felt convicted to befriend Muslims in his area but didn’t know any personally. So he visited a Mediterranean restaurant and recognized a Muslim family when he noticed a woman wearing a hijab, a head covering worn by Muslim women. He struck up a conversation by introducing himself and asking for recommendations on dishes to order since he was unfamiliar with the type of food the restaurant served. The family happily replied, and a door was opened to develop a relationship.
- A simple way to meet a Muslim is to volunteer as an English language conversation partner with an international college student. Check out this website, (https://www.cru.org/us/en/communities/locations.html) to find a local college campus near you, and then contact their representative there.
- Volunteer with local ministries supporting refugees who are eager for an English-speaking local resident to befriend them. Ask a pastor at your local church to connect you with a ministry supporting refugees in your area.
- Think about whether there are employees within your company who are Muslim or people within your extended social network whom you could befriend.
There is great joy in sharing about our savior to those who are open to receive it—this is an art, and you’ll grow and feel more confident with practice. The Bible says, “his commandments are not burdensome,”and it is “Christ’s love compels us”(2 Corinthians [5:14]). Enjoy stepping into the possibility of transformative relationships and be open to what God has for you!