Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Two Words

Almost five years ago, I first arrived in Taiwan in answer to God’s call in my heart to give my life in service to Him. At that time, I knew I should obey and that nothing should get in the way of my commitment to serve and obey. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I brought myself with me and it was the beginning of a very long journey of self-improvement in which even now I am still traveling. Two things have been on the forefront of my mind since my arrival in 2010: love of others over self, and God’s mercy to get us past our many mistakes.

Both love and mercy are words that Christians use on a regular basis and they can begin to seem overused. Through my college years the deeply-important Biblical meanings of love and mercy have been weakened of their impact on me, but as I have been learning a second-language over the past few years, and really looking at the meanings and uses of words, I feel God revealing their true definitions and practical applications.

In the beginning, I was focused on loving myself and looking out for myself. Yes, I was committed to serving God, but sadly this had only been a surface choice with the true reason being that I wanted to make my family proud of me. It took some hard hits and tough lessons to get it through my thick skull that God didn’t want me to be here living for myself, but to be here to live fully surrendered to Him and as such, to be a vessel through which He could share His love to others. As I try to think of a better way to describe this, I recognize that God is still working in my life in this area and although I may have slightly improved, even to the point of going out of my way to act kindhearted sometimes, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area of loving my neighbors, loving the brethren, and loving God, but I won’t stop moving forward.

Yunlin VOICE Missions Team
As for the part of mercy, I have been learning that not only do we enjoy each new day under the mercy of God (Lamentations 3:22-23), but we ourselves must be merciful to others, not just those who are good to us, but to those who are bad to us, (Luke 6:32-36). As I have been learning to be merciful to others two things have become apparent to me. First, that our interaction with children as teachers is a great opportunity for us to show mercy without expecting anything in return and even though sometimes they may seem lost in their own little selfish worlds, they recognize God’s love and are blessed and influenced by it. Secondly, as I have been confronted with many opportunities to be merciful towards others for either obvious or perceived offenses, I realized that it is best to approach being wronged from a position of mercy as more-often-than-not I am totally misunderstanding circumstances and in danger of being the one doing the harm and then in need of receiving forgiveness.

God has used the past few years of my time in teaching English in Taiwan to teach me really deeply-important facts about life and Christian ministry. May God bless us and may we continue to be eager as both teachers and as students.

~Tim Piotrowicz

Tim was born in the small town of La Porte, Indiana, raised in the small town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and lives in the small town of Douliu, Taiwan, working in ministry as a teacher, tutor, and writer. He greatly enjoys studying psychology, writing poetry, and practically engaging in evangelism and counseling. 

1 comment:

  1. Tim, I loved reading this-- and I love catching a glimpse into the work God has been doing in your life. It is awesome...