“Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” 1 Cor. 4:1
My formative years in outdoor ministry were spent working at a camp who served a radically diverse population of campers. The diversity caused a lot of financial, social and spiritual stress. It would have been easier to serve a segregated camper base. Social service agencies provided funds for camps with a specific focus on at-risk youth. The support was not as strong for financially diverse camper populations.
Socially, it was difficult mixing children from stable homes with children who could not conceive of stability. One camper might complain about not being able to go to the Caribbean on vacation, while the other is wondering how they will eat the next day.
Staff with a commitment to Christian peace and justice, often had the hardest time. They were used to teaching mainstream, middle-class, white campers from fairly stable homes how to be more compassionate. It was often difficult for them to see how peace and justice was being lived out in front of their eyes. It was a beautiful experiment which has continued to shape the living out of my faith.
Our campers cursed a lot. Sometimes, it was every other word. Each summer a counselor would request a camper be kicked out for using the F-bomb. I was not often empathetic to the request. What, nothing separates you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, except a potty mouth? Often the camper cursing was coping with some form of abuse, fear, anxiety or a feeling of abandonment. Cursing was the least of their worries.
I started teaching staff a lesson which I believe is a universal truth. Cursing is an expression of anger and fear. If you can discover what is producing anger or fear in that child’s life and deal with that issue, the cursing will stop on its own. Or, at least, it will subside. There are a number of behaviors people do subconsciously which are actually expressions of fear. Unless the fear is addressed, I doubt the behavior will ever stop.
Servants of Christ search for the deep fears tormenting wounded souls. They seek to bring calm to those fears so the wounded may know peace. Then in peace, the wounded discover the mystery of God to restore life.
Click to read: 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5
- What behaviors to you see in others which are expressions of fear?
- How can you minister to the fears of others?
- What fears do you need someone to minister to?
- How would you describe being a steward of God’s mysteries?
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com