the weblog of Alan Knox

Walking as if other people are important

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in blog links, community, discipleship, fellowship | 5 comments

Walking as if other people are important

Love one another. Consider others more important than yourself. Serve one another. Care for one another. Encourage one another. Teach one another. Edify one another.

Did you know that there’s an important precept underlying all of the instructions above? Yep. That precept is this: For those who follow Jesus Christ, other people are important.

My friends Paul are Laurel moved to the Congo last year. They are working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, and they’re currently working with several local languages. But, it seems they are learning much more than just languages. Last week, they published a post called “Convicting Language Lesson.”

Here’s how they described an important lesson they’re learning:

A few days ago, I was sitting in the office along with the Komo translators when suddenly one of them, Tony, stood up and walked brusquely across the room with a very determined look on his face. Then they all started laughing. After a minute or two, Amisi, the director asked me, “Do you understand what we are talking about?” When I said no, he began to explain a very interesting verb to me. In Komo, they have a word for going somewhere with such determination that you don’t even stop to greet people on the way. He said “You know, like you foreigners often do” . . . Ouch! It’s true, isn’t it? We are often more goal oriented than people oriented and it really sticks out in a culture like this. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool verb.

There’s not much left to say after that, is there?

The way we live… even the way we walk from place to place… demonstrates whether or not we think people are important.

I’ve been to a couple of places around the world that are not event oriented (like most people are here in the United States). I’ve learned so much from the people of these culture. Primarily, I’ve learned how to live in a way that shows that other people are important. I’ve learned to talk to people in a way that shows that I care more about what they have to say than what I plan to say next.

Of course, sometimes my old American habits come to the surface. But, I want to live – and even to walk – in a way that shows other people that they are important to me.

But, then, they have to actually be important to me first…


5 Comments

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  1. 3-28-2013

    This begins to explain why Jesus was so interruptible.

  2. 3-28-2013

    Interesting and worthwhile.

  3. 3-28-2013

    I read that post & was soo intrigued!

    My husband is very un-american then hehe. His personality is not typical American and I’ve always thought that! In studies on personalities in this country, it has been shown that the most common personalities are event-oriented or at least faster-paced (“drivers”). My husband’s personality – very phlegmatic – is not only a clear minority here but also very commonly misunderstood & un-appreciated in our country. I will tell him he needs to move to Africa or (?) :)

    I guess this also shows how personalities are both given to us by God but also many personality traits that were not God-given for us are picked up by the culture we live in.

    Been thinking about personalities a lot this week! I am encouraged that we don’t have to figure it all out — He will help us shed those negative traits that we picked up along the way and as we surrender to Him and get in close relationships in His Body – who we were designed to be will come out and our strengths will bring Him glory & build others up!!! :)

  4. 3-28-2013

    Art,

    “Jesus was so interruptible”… wow. Thank you for that!

    James,

    Thank you.

    Randi,

    That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing that about your husband.

    -Alan

  5. 3-29-2013

    May the Living God be true through our life forever and ever.
    May His Light shine through our life to cheer those who are in distress.
    May we be living gods to uphold those who are in despair.
    May the resurrected Christ be everything of our life.

    Living God

    God said to me, “Love them!”
    “Here are My beloved children”.
    God said again, “Forgive them!”
    “They do not know what they have done”.
    God continued, “Lift up your eyes to heaven and look!”
    “My sun is shining for the good and the bad.”
    “Look down to the river!”
    “My water is refreshing the good and the bad.”
    “See those trees!”
    “My trees are shading the good and the bad.”
    God asked me, “Why did you judge and despise them?”
    “I have suffered for them.”
    God commanded me: “Go, and stay with them!”
    “You are to relieve my suffering.”
    “I shall bring my Light to them.”
    “You shall bring My lost children back to me.”

    Bui Duc Minh