I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1: 16 - 17
In the rush of everyday life it can be so easy to get our priorities wrong. One of the biggest criticisms of my work as a newly qualified staff nurse is my poor prioritisation skills. I get into work fresh and ready to take on a new day with new challenges. I’m psyched. Ready and raring to go. I know what nursing care I have to give, what other tasks I’ve got to do and when. I have time set aside to do all of these things but somewhere along the line, usually quite early on in my case, it all goes to pot. I get distracted by less urgent or important things, often because of good intentions, and an inability to say ‘no’, when asked to help others. The fact is I’ve lost sight of what I started out focused on.
Similarly it can be easy to lose focus of the objectives in mission. The input of healthcare providers, especially in less developed countries, is much needed and it is right that some Christians should feel a desire to serve people in this way (both at home and abroad). What distinguishes the Christian healthcare provider from the non-Christian, however, is our ability to also give people something far greater than healthcare; an opportunity to hear the gospel.
The main point of mission is to share the gospel (good news - what an understatement!) with people. Paul tells us why this is far greater than mere healthcare, ‘it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (v16). When we read on in Romans, and put into context what this salvation is from and how the only way to obtain it is through Jesus, it is difficult not to recognise its significance to everyone. The gospel is not something to be ashamed of but rather something glorious and essential to share with others, if we truly desire to help them and see them saved.
As Christian healthcare providers we must remember that we are Christians first, and as Christians our top priority is God and seeing Him glorified. We should be wanting to tell everyone of His greatness and what He has done for us. True we are not preachers, we are healthcare providers but we are healthcare providers second to being Christians. Our work as healthcare providers, whether overseas or at home, should be viewed in the context of glorifying God with our words and actions.
Romans 1: 18 - 3: 28