Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Know the Value of Others

There was once a young man, a summa cum laude of a prestigious university, who came to a remote village and crossed a wide river via small boat. While travelling, he asked the boatman, “Do you know the exact weight of your boat when it is full to its capacity?” “I don’t know, Sir,” replied the boatman. “Well, you are a boatman. You should know that!”

Few minutes passed and the young man asked again, “Do you know the exact height of that mountain over there?” The poor boatman answered, “I’m sorry, Sir, but I don’t know the height of that mountain, Sir.” “Well, you are always here boating everyday so, you should know that!,” insisted the young man.

Then, after few minutes, the wind suddenly blew so furiously that it heavily hit the boat. The boatman insistently suggested, “Sir!, we need to jump out of the boat immediately and swim across the shore to spare our lives!” The young man fearfully exclaimed, “What!? Swim? No!, just keep rowing! I don’t know how to swim! I don’t know that!!” The boatman said, “But, Sir, that’s the only option we can do to save our lives! You should know how to swim! You should know that, SIR!! ... I’m sorry, Sir, but with this kind of storm I can’t save you, and I must now go!”

Indeed, there are things you know that others don’t, and there are things others know that you don’t. So, we don’t need to compare ourselves with anybody else nor do we need to demean others with their seemingly disadvantage. We don’t even have the license to belittle someone because of our seemingly advantage over them, either. The Book of Romans is astute in reminding us by saying, “… Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Rom. 12:3).

My former military chaplain had once said, “Nobody has the monopoly of knowledge and intelligences... not even the monopoly of GOD’s blessings.”

GOD gives each person with skills and talents that make him or her totally special. That is why we do not have the right to label anyone dumb or stupid, even the mere thought of it. Better yet, we need to explore our own areas of intelligence and help others discover their’s, too. Then we’d all be happier and more content with ourselves.

Likewise, we are here not to compete with each other. Instead, we are here to complete each other. In the same way, we ought to learn the truth that we need each other. Our strengths and weaknesses give us the chance to complement each other. In other words, we help and support each other in our weak areas, and we use our strengths for the benefit of the whole. And so, there’s absolutely no competition there.

Be careful. Respect everybody because we’re all GOD’s creation. You may not admire someone much, but nevertheless, GOD loves him. There’s an African saying that goes this way: “The opinion of the intelligent is better than the certainty of the ignorant.”

As Citizens of the Kingdom, we are expected to use our talents, skills, intelligences, or any advantage that we have to serve and to help each other in the spirit of warmth, harmony, and love. For one day we will face the real Judge and shall render an account.

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