Hard Done By?
As the month of prayer and giving comes to a close this weekend – only three more articles – Barry King raises an issue worth considering.
It’s taken the better part of two decades for me to begin to understand English. Though new words, new pronunciations, new spellings, and new phrases have gradually become ingrained in my thinking, I still have a lot to learn.
Not so long ago I was having a chat with someone on my way to/from a station (honestly can’t remember which) in which he suggested some folk might feel ‘hard done by’ regarding the work of Grace Baptist Partnership.
The expression was a new one for me. Not wanting to appear as ignorant as I actually was, I said something to the effect – why is that?
“You know, you being an American and all. Aren’t a lot of the people you work with foreigners too?”, was the substance of his reply. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was getting at. But I didn’t think it was good.
When I was alone again, I typed the phrase into my search engine. Here’s what I learned: The phrase means to feel mistreated, abused, cheated, or dejected. It is used to describe someone who feels that what is happening is somehow not fair.
Most of you reading these words don’t feel hard done by the fact that the man typing them has an American accent. Most of you rejoice that migrants to this country are evangelising, planting or replanting churches, and serving as elders and deacons in congregations across the country. You believe that God in his providence uses both missionaries and migrants to bring the gospel to every land – including ours.
However, if you are one who genuinely struggles at this point, please remember the extension of the gospel should give rise to thanksgiving to God not to resentment toward those seeking to do the work of the Lord.
Follow Paul’s lead in Philippians 1 and rejoice in the providence of God in your own circumstances and in the proclamation of the gospel by others – even when they may not exactly fit your profile.
Gospel magnanimity remains the order of the day.
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15