Missions - Section 6

  1. Among the hardest tasks in life is to divest ourselves of the culture we wear so comfortably It's like being an actor in a play Your past life is the "play" you know so well. Everything comes naturally But all of a sudden, you find yourself in another "play" where all the actors but you know their characters, lines and props. Now you must learn the new "play." It feels unnatural, awkward and even embarrassing-at first. But with a little practice you will be competent and enjoy the play ... the new culture. - From location 147 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  2. Servanthood must be intentional because it is not natural. We are inclined to serve others from our own frame of reference, but then it is perceived as superiority, cultural imperialism or neocolonialism. Servanthood is a conscious effort to choose one direction and one set of values over another. - From location 152 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  3. The basic premise is that we have a model of true servanthood in Christ, but we must follow him in his humble servant role, not in his Lord and Christ roles.  - From location 154 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  4. You can't serve someone you do not understand. If you try to serve people without understanding them, you are more likely to be perceived as a benevolent oppressor.   - From location 156 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  5. "To hold to a doctrine or an opinion with the intellect alone is not to believe it. A man's real belief is that which he lives by." GEORGE MCDONALD   - From location 159 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  6. When God chose to connect with humans, he did so as a servant. It was a most unlikely way to connect, for servants are usually invisible.  - From location 160 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  7. I can think of only one reason Jesus came as a servant: it is the very nature of God to serve.  - From location 163 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  8. If God connected with us as a servant, that becomes the way we too connect with the people of this world. While it runs counter to our natural desire, we have no choice. We are never more like Jesus than when we serve others. - From location 165 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  9. A subtle but important distinction is necessary If we set out to become a servant, it can become mechanical and appear artificial or forced. If, however, servanthood is seen as our deepest identification with Christ and inhabits our being, then serving others will be a natural, often unconscious, expression. At this point servanthood is not only what we do but what we are. This seems to be a main point in Matthew 25:31-46. People who served by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, providing shelter to the stranger, clothing the naked or visiting the sick and those in prison were apparently not keeping a record of their "servant deeds" but doing what was in their nature. Serving others was their identity .  - From location 167 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  10. NOT THE ROBE BUT THE TOWEL  - From location 171 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  11. Two metaphors. Two metaphors represent the choice we have every day as we live our Christian faith: a towel or a robe.  - From location 181 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  12. The disciples of Jesus never seemed to get it, at least until it was nearly too late. They envisioned themselves wearing the "robe," enjoying the royal status along with privileges, a big name, prominence and lots of perks.  - From location 171 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  13. The "towel," serving others, putting myself out for someone I don't know, thinking of others more highly than myself, putting others' needs before my own.  - From location 173 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  14. Neither the opening nor the closing scenes of Jesus' life suggest anything but a life of humble service-the life of the towel. In between these two scenes are hundreds of others that suggest a kind of towel mission: seeking the lost, performing miracles, touching the poor and marginalized, casting out demons, doing good, teaching kingdom values, nurturing people, praying, fasting and other activities showing his service to humankind. His life was given to carrying the towel, the symbol of humble, obedient and, ultimately, suffering service.  - From location 178 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  15. The lordly model is not for his followers. Jesus alone rightly claims the title "Lord" and shares it with no one. We are not to follow him in his lordly role but in his servant role. The Son of Man "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt 20:28). Greatness is not the goal. Service is the goal, and greatness is defined by Christ in his lifelong exercise of servanthood: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Mt 20:26). For the life of Christ to be reproduced in us, it must be through servanthood, because that is what Christ told us and showed us.  - From location 189 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  16. Jesus and the Twelve gathered for the Passover feast, and it was time for Jesus to "leave this world and go to the Father" (Jn 13:1). But he must still make sure the disciples understand one thing: the power of love through living as servants: "He now showed them the full extent of his love.... He ... began to wash his disciples' feet" (Jn 13:1, 5).  - From location 196 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  17. Foot washing was "generally performed by the meanest [lowliest] servant., ,2 Jesus seizes the opportunity by doing the unthinkable: the King of kings and Lord of lords would be the "meanest servant," humbly pouring water in the basin, wrapping the towel around his waist and without a spoken word humbly washing the disciples' dusty feet and drying them with the towel. - From location 199 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  18. The values of God's kingdom are different from the values of this world. In the world, greatness is judged by the power a person exercises over others. In the kingdom, greatness is judged by service to people. As children of the King, we follow kingdom values.  - From location 208 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  19. Jesus came to earth occupying two roles: (1) Lord and Christ, and (2) humble, obedient servant. He alone is Lord and Christ. But he taught and exemplified humble servanthood, the role we are to occupy-the way of the towel. The problem arises when his followers choose to follow him in his kingly role and not in his servant role. They gravitate toward the robe while resisting the towel. The Lord Jesus Christ alone wears the robe. His disciples are to follow him only in his humble, obedient servant role-maybe even his suffering-servant role. - From location 217 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  20. "If you ask me what is the first precept of the Christian religion, I will answer first, second and third, Humility." AUGUSTINE  - From location 221 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  21. "Humility is the garden of all the virtues." CHRYSOSTOM  - From location 222 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  22. Others can't see our motives, only our actions, which become the basis for their impression of us. In like manner, missionaries will need to learn the local cultural patterns so that their desire to serve will be seen as serving and not be misinterpreted.  - From location 230 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  23. Like all virtues, there are counterfeits. Paul twice warns the Colossian believers about people exhibiting "false humility" (Col 2:18, 23). These people have the appearance of humility but who are driven by their own self-importance. The context would suggest that beneath the surface they feel arrogant in their "superior" knowledge. Some people are seduced by this showy, conspicuous humility and are led astray.  - From location 238 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  24. "If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed." C. S. LEWIS  - From location 244 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  25. A Proper perspective of self - What do any of us have except by the grace of God? What have we done to deserve his favor? Who among us can guarantee we will be alive tomorrow? Pride has no place in our lives; everything we have is by God's kindness. This perspective will transform relationships.  - From location 266 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  26. Humility unites us while pride divides us. The pride of Lucifer broke the unity of heaven and the harmony between God and his creation. Pride continues to break unity between us and God, and between believers. We can't follow Christ as humble servants and participate in quarrelsome relationships. The humble servant strives to reconcile people into God-glorifying unity.  - From location 268 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  27. Pride, most often expressed as superiority, means someone is either talking up to or down to another person, both of which inhibit open, honest conversation and mutual empowerment. Instead, there is competition. Who is higher? Who is better? Who has more? Who is right? This is "selfish ambition" and "vain conceit" (Phil 2 3).  - From location 269 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  28. Focusing on our own self inevitably leaves little room for attention to others.  - From location 274 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  29. Humility, however, isn't temporary; it isn't training for the next level; it isn't a means to some higher end. Humility is a lifestyle, not isolated incidents. It is an attitude toward God, ourselves and others that permeates our thoughts and deeds. - From location 278 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  30. The Scripture says it this way: "Clothe yourself with humility" (1 Pet 5:5). When God sees a humble spirit, he may exalt that person. But God expects humility to continue to characterize that person's life. When it doesn't, God will humble him or her.  - From location 279 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  31. We believe that the principal key to persuasive Christian communication is to be found in the communicators themselves and what kind of people they are.... We desire to see ... "the meekness and gentleness of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:1)...  - From location 284 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  32. There is the humility to take the trouble to understand and appreciate the culture of those to whom we go. It is the desire which leads naturally into that true dialogue "whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand." .. .  - From location 285 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  33. To try to contain humility in a single act is to warp the very idea that humility is an attitude that saturates our entire life. Indeed, humility ought to find expression in every human act. - From location 293 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  34. One of the great challenges for the cross-cultural missionary is to find those cultural equivalents, or cultural analogies, that express humility. - From location 298 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  35. Becoming a servant is a journey-a pilgrimage.  - From location 303 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  36. Let us intentionally, every day, ask what we have learned about how a servant looks and acts in this culture. Otherwise we may be deluded into thinking we are serving when others may not see it that way at all.  - From location 308 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  37. OPENNESS: THE FIRST STEP OF THE PILGRIMAGE - From location 311 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
    1. Serving - You can't serve someone you do not understand;
    2. Understanding - You can't understand others until you have learned about, from and with them.
    3. Learning - You can't learn important information from someone until there is trust in the relationship. 
    4. Trust - To build trust others must know that you accept and value them as people.
    5. Acceptance - Before you can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness-your ability to welcome them into your presence.
  38. Openness - Openness with people different from yourself requires that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships in a world of cultural differences. - From location 315 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  39. The first principle of servanthood is openness.  - From location 317 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  40. Openness is the ability to welcome people into your presence and make them feel safe.  - From location 326 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  41. First, being open toward others is an ability, by my definition. This is important because if it is an ability, even if we are not particularly good at it, we can practice and get better.  - From location 327 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  42. Second, openness is directed toward people-others like us and, more importantly, others who are unlike us. In Luke 15:2, Jesus, the holy, righteous Son of God, eats with sinners, the despised and rejected-unheard of for anyone concerned with their reputation. To sit and eat with another person indicated oneness with them, solidarity and acceptance-a very countercultural act for Jesus in the Middle Eastern world. - From location 328 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  43. Third, openness must be expressed in culturally appropriate ways so that others feel both welcomed and secure in our presence.  - From location 332 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  44. Practicing openness in the new culture will require that we change.   - From location 341 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  45. Miroslav Volf uses the term embrace when speaking of welcoming others into our presence. Then he says, "The will to give ourselves to others and `welcome' them, to readjust our identities to make space for them, is prior to any judgment about others, except that of identifying with them in their humanity.  - From location 341 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  46. Think about some recent experiences you have had where a stranger entered your home, your group, your clique. How do you think the person felt when he or she left?  - From location 355 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  47. THE CROSS SIGNALS GOD'S OPENNESS - From location 356 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  48. The cross may be the single greatest symbol of openness. On the cross Jesus' arms were open wide. In his dying breath he still signaled his openness to receive those who would come to him in repentance. But it is not only an openness to those who wish to repent of their sins but also to us who wish to draw near for comfort, peace, refuge, hope and grace. Openness is grounded in the very nature of God.  - From location 356 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  49. Openness is also captured in the biblical concept of hospitality.  - From location 359 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  50. Showing hospitality and providing a meal seem synonymous, especially toward friends or relatives. Yet the Scripture expands the idea considerably Hospitality refers to an attitude that prevails in a person's lifestyle, an attitude of extending grace to people, including the stranger, the person who is different.  - From location 361 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  51. Hospitality is extending love to those we don't know and who may be of a different ethnic or cultural history It is the idea of being gracious to all people, welcoming them into your presence and making them feel valued. A true servant is characterized by hospitality-one who welcomes and embraces those who are unlike us just as Jesus embraced us across our radical differences.  - From location 363 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  52. When we show openness toward people who are different from us, welcome them into our presence and make them feel safe, the relationship becomes a place of healing. As we welcome people just as they are and invite them to join us just as we are, it becomes a sacred event reflecting what Jesus did for us-providing us with a healing relationship.  - From location 368 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  53. The most important virtue any church can embody is the virtue of hospitality. Because God has welcomed us, we are called to welcome others-and not because it is the nice and polite thing to do, but because it is the holy and just thing to do.  - From location 370 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  54. Unwillingness to be hospitable may cause us to miss out on a divine encounter.  - From location 372 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  55. Hebrews advises: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Heb 13:2). Simply put, we have to welcome and be gracious to everybody, because we can't be sure who the angels are.  - From location 372 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  56. Being open, hospitable and gracious s warranted for another compelling reason: when we "touch" another human being for good or ill, we "touch" God himself.  - From location 374 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  57. Jesus says, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world" (v. 34). The stunning reason for the sheep entering the Father's eternal kingdom is.. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me" (vv. 35-36). To me these are examples of being open-graciously responding to people around us as an unheralded lifestyle, not as something special or extraordinary. - From location 376 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  58. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (v. 40, see also v. 45). When we touch others in gracious ways (with God's grace) we are touching God himself! Therefore, every act toward other human beings is either a sacred or profane act. It either treats them with dignity or it dehumanizes them. We have no other choice.  - From location 382 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  59. Every human contact requires an openness that invites others into our presence for a moment of grace, if we so choose-or a moment of profanity. Yes, that is the right word. We profane another person whenever we fail to honor them as human beings.  - From location 385 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  60. How I treat "the least of these" is how I treat their Creator. If I extend to them hospitality, I reveal God's beauty and grace. If I am uncharitable toward another person, I fail to honor the God who gave them dignity.  - From location 387 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  61. Jesus' identification with us is so intense that whatever touches us touches him. And whatever I do to another human, I do to him. By profaning another person, I profane God. Thus the greater profanity may not be cursing, bad as that is, but failing to extend openness and hospitality to another person who bears the Creator's image. "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker" (Prov 14:31).  - From location 389 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  62. Hospitality, when you get right down to it, is unnatural. It is difficult to place others first, because our inclination is to take care of ourselves first. Hospitality takes courage. It takes a willingness to risk. - From location 394 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  63. Most of us know what true hospitality feels like. It means being received openly warmly, freely without any need to prove ourselves. Hospitality makes us feel worthy, because our host assumes we are worthy. This is the kind of hospitality that we have experienced from God, and all that God asks is that we go and do likewise, particularly to "the alien among us." - From location 397 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  64. Exhibiting a spirit of hospitality creates an atmosphere of safety and security whereby deep, meaningful conversation can blossom. In doing so we affirm people as human beings and speak peace to their inner being. We also signal that there is One who extends hospitality to all people and who can satisfy our ultimate need.  - From location 399 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  65. We sometimes honor others most by receiving their kindness and hospitality and music rather than by trying to give to them.  - From location 414 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  66. Dichotomizing-the Western tendency to see things in discrete categories-shows up in our desire to quickly know where things fit. When we have labels on things, we can manage them. One of our favorite ways to dichotomize is in the area of "like me" or "unlike me." If something is like me, then it is in the "good" category. I approve. I move closer to it. I promote it. I have positive feelings about it. If something is unlike me, I respond with suspicion, distance, frowning, critiquing and trying to change it (or change you) to look like me.  - From location 415 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  67. We categorize other people (and their cultural practices?) very quickly and very unconsciously Once we have them categorized, often negatively, we close our mind about them. Then our behavior follows, also unconsciously That is, what happens in our head in less than five seconds influences the future of that relationship. Efficiency may not be a virtue in the area of relationships.   - From location 423 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  68. Stereotypes, whether based on past experience or learned from others, tend to close us off to being open toward members of another group. When we categorize another group of people, it's usually negative, and then negative behaviors invariably follow.  - From location 439 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  69. Not only do we make two-to-five-second decisions about whether people are like us or dissimilar to us, but we somehow feel free to also name the negative things about them. This tendency can be a major problem when entering another culture where people (1) look very different, (2) their environment is very unlike ours, (3) they have a different language or accent, and (4) they live in ways that confuse us. By God's grace, there is a better way And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can learn to practice skills that will move us beyond these natural but ungodly tendencies.  - From location 441 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  70. Suspending judgment. The first skill necessary for developing an attitude of openness toward others who are different is the ability to suspend judgment.  - From location 448 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  71. By suspending judgment, I can keep my mind open to alternative explanations for what I see and hear rather than immediately assuming something negative.  - From location 451 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  72. Not all judgments are wrong, but most premature judgments are. We must suspend judgment until we see more clearly That is unnatural and takes time. This is why we must practice suspending judgment.  - From location 457 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  73. In a new culture, faced with a multitude of differences, we are prone to judge from our cultural perspective. Too often we see negatively what God sees as difference. If it is merely different and not wrong, we should stay open and be accepting.  - From location 460 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  74. We are rightly cautioned by God to judge only with extreme care because to misjudge is to damage another human being and thus touch Jesus with the same disregard. Suspending judgment, therefore, is the first skill in maintaining an open attitude. It keeps us from premature negative judgments. It also keeps us open to new information that may help us judge accurately.  - From location 461 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  75. Steps you can take to avoid premature negative judgments:  - From location 464 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
    1. Recognize you are making a negative judgment. It will serve you well to be able to monitor these kinds of thoughts in virtually every social situation. Ask yourself, Am 1 jumping to a negative conclusion?
    2. Stop as soon as you recognize you have a negative thought or make a negative remark or negative judgment. Ask whether you have enough information to be negative about that person. Should you suspend judgment, get more information and seek cultural understanding before drawing a conclusion? 
    3. Does the observed behavior violate some clear mandate of Scripture or should it be labeled as a cultural difference? 
    4. If it violates a clear biblical mandate, how can you respond so that you still communicate openness while addressing the concern? This takes great wisdom and should not be done quickly and probably not in the same way as in your own culture.  Unless you are a veteran of several years in a given culture, I would strongly urge you to share your thoughts with a mature local pastor or an experienced missionary rather than tackle it yourself.
    5. If, however, you are concerned about something that is a cultural difference, then you may remain open, even celebrate it as a part of God's wonderful diversity Then try to understand how this difference is part of the larger tapestry of the culture.
    6. Practicing these steps in our home culture will contribute to better communications, fewer misunderstandings and stronger relationships with siblings, parents, spouse, in-laws, children and colleagues. Notice I did not say friends in the above list. The reason is that with friends we usually practice positive attribution. That is, most of what they do we cast in a positive light
  76. The apostle James offers help: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak" (Jas L 19). Perhaps by listening we might learn something that will keep us from the grievous error of misjudging someone.  - From location 477 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  77. Tolerance for ambiguity. A second skill necessary for openness to function effectively is tolerance for ambiguity-a prominent topic in the cross-cultural communication literature. Tolerating ambiguity, or living in uncertainty for periods of time, taxes our emotional strength, which in turn drains our physical capacity.  - From location 478 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  78. Some of us don't perform well during times of uncertainty. There are, however, two compelling reasons why we should exercise patience, keep the anxiety in check and patiently endure the difficult time: (1) God wants us to know that he is in control of our lives and will act in love toward us at all times even though it may not seem so at the moment; and (2) God wants us to learn through this experience, to grow us in some important way Practicing patience during times of ambiguity in our home culture means the skill will be available for us to cope with the ambiguities of the new culture.   - From location 483 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  79. Thinking gray. Steven Sample, president of the University of Southern California, notes a third skill for promoting openness: think gray. Thinking gray is an extraordinarily uncommon characteristic which requires a good deal of effort to develop. But it is one of the most important skills which a leader can acquire. - From location 489 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  80. A truly effective leader, however, must be able to see the shades of gray inherent in a situation in order to make wise decisions as to how to proceed.  - From location 492 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  81. The essence of thinking gray is this: don't form an opinion about an important matter until you've heard all the relevant facts.'°   - From location 493 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  82. Positive attribution - The fourth skill to practice in developing an attitude of openness is positive attribution. Whereas negative attribution assumes the worst about the others when we are lacking certainty, positive attribution assumes the best, while not being naive.  - From location 495 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  83. Paul encourages us to think about the good, the positive: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things" (Phil 4:8).   - From location 502 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  84. Our challenge is to be inclusive in extending grace to all people yet exclusive in affirming that the Bible is the authoritative truth of God. While this often brings charges of exclusivism, narrowness, rigidity and elitism, the fact is that to make the Bible only one of many truths is to destroy its claims.  - From location 513 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  85. Rejection, no matter how old one is, is a sword thrust to the soul that has literally killed many. Western culture is, largely unbeknown to itself, a culture of rejection.  - From location 528 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  86. Acceptance is the ability to communicate value, worth and esteem to another person.  - From location 535 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  87. Romans 15:7 states, "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." These are God's challenging words.  - From location 537 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  88. The second major point of Romans 15:7, and the most difficult for me, is to "accept one another"-with the standard being: "just as Christ accepted you."  - From location 544 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  89. Here is how accepting one another will look:  - From location 547 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
    1. • We are to take the initiative in showing acceptance toward others, making them feel valued and respected. 
    2. • We unconditionally accept others without considering their external features, lifestyle, decisions, habits and so forth. (Note: acceptance is not approval.
    3. • We do not have the option of rejecting any person, though we may, in a culturally appropriate way, address behaviors that the Bible clearly declares as sinful. 
    4. • We are to eliminate our own dehumanizing behaviors such as threats, intimidations, power-plays and other ungodly forms of manipulation. 
    5. • We accept people-period; like Jesus, we must reject labels such as race, generation and gender as defective guides for how to treat another human being. 
    6. • We expect that accepting others in these ways may cost us dearly.
  90. Something amazing happens when the people of God become accepting people. It reveals the glory of God. Here is the lesson for all who work cross-culturally and belong to Christ. Accepting one another may be among the most powerful acts of love we can offer to each other because it promotes oneness. Oneness in Christ is so wonderful that the natural expression is to sing the praises of God.  - From location 552 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  91. Accepting each other promotes the mission of God. When we accept one another across our differences, it promotes unity in the body. This unity reveals the glory of God and the power of his love.  - From location 555 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  92. "When you sin against your brothers in this way ... you sin against Christ" (18:12). 1 wonder how many of us realize mistreatment of another believer is a "sin against Christ?"  - From location 564 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  93. An accepting Christian values the other person so highly that he or she would rather sacrifice a personal preference, even a right, than risk losing the relationship or being a stumbling block to that person (1 Cor 8:13).  - From location 565 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  94. In the Bible, by blessing humankind, God is telling us how highly he values us. When we bless one another, we remind one another how important and significant our lives are to each other. And when we bless God, as in worship, we are telling God how important [he] is to us.  - From location 569 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  95. God calls us to remind the world of the high value and worth God has placed not only on each person but on each family, ethnicity, tribe, tongue and nation. We not only pray for the well-being of persons, but we also seek to be in relationship with them. Therefore the ministry of blessing can never be an ethnocentric affair; it must be a family affair, as in "all the families of the earth."  - From location 571 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  96. God's blessing of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 informs us that the point of our being blessed is to bless others; that is, having discovered how highly the Creator values us, we are in turn to value God's creation. The ministry of blessing reminds us of the essential connectedness of the Christian life. It reminds us that we were created to live in relationship. We cannot live alone, counting our own blessings. Rather, the act of blessing affirms God's multicultural intention for creation. In blessing and being blessed, we discover the reestablishment of the true unity willed by God.'  - From location 574 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  97. In blessing others, especially those who are outside our normal relationships, we bless God.  - From location 578 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  98. God has been generous. He has shared something of himself with every human being that makes the person absolutely unique-unlike any other creature. God wants us to see his face as we look into the face of others.  - From location 581 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  99. Since we bear God's image, no one is insignificant; no one is worthless. Life has meaning, and we have meaning and importance because God's own imprint is upon our humanity. Thus we must see others as God sees them, treat them as he would and name them as he names them.  - From location 582 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  100. Unconditional, continuous acceptance then is based on the fact that God has bestowed dignity and worth on every human being. Thus we have no choice. Either we treat them with the respect and dignity that God has given them or we profane God's image in that other person by treating them with less value. We cannot honor God and at the same time treat another person in a manipulative, dehumanizing, disrespectful way.  - From location 584 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  101. "How you treat a person in the brief moment when you pass together through a revolving door tells the world what you believe about them." Our view of people can be seen even in the most insignificant circumstances.  - From location 586 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  102. Mark, however, saw the image of God in everyone in spite of their activity. This truth made everyone first and foremost a human being loved by God, accepted by Christ, sacredly endowed with dignity and worthy of being treated with respect and honor by every other human being. He accepted this person in prostitution just as Christ would.  - From location 598 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  103. Today, every contact I have with another person becomes either a sacred or profane moment depending on how I see it and handle it. To accept and affirm the dignity of the other will nurture the image of God in them. To devalue that person or fail to show respect will contribute to a further distortion of the image of God in them. - From location 620 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  104. To make no effort to learn another's language is by itself a form of rejection of people.  - From location 625 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  105. Even when short-term missionaries make an effort to learn at least some greetings and a farewell, it communicates that they value others.  - From location 627 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  106. Impatience limits acceptance of others. - From location 631 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  107. In many parts of the world waiting is a nonissue. Meetings don't start on (Western) time; appointments run thirty to forty-five or more minutes late; All of this can be very frustrating but only because it's not what I am accustomed to. We need to find ways to deal with life's little frustrations, or they will hinder our ability to value and celebrate people.  - From location 633 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  108. Several things help me. I have become a people watcher, which is both intriguing and informational. Observation is a wonderful way to learn another culture. After observing others, try to name the values that you see them living out. I also carry reading material. Scripture memory cards are useful when I have extra time. - From location 636 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  109. If impatience is a problem for you in your home culture, you will have your patience tested often in a new culture. Without several strategies to deal with daily frustrations, you will build up negative feelings, and people will sense rejection from you, aborting any opportunity for meaningful ministry.  - From location 639 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  110. Ethnocentrism - Ethnocentrism is an unconscious hindrance in communicating acceptance. It refers to the tendency of every person to believe that their own cultural values and traditions are superior to those of other cultures. The more the other culture is unlike my cultural background, the more I am inclined to make unfavorable judgments.  - From location 641 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  111. Most Americans who travel cross-culturally, often for humanitarian purposes, are quick to identify a problem, offer a solution and then get on with fixing whatever they determine is wrong. They love to be efficient and good stewards of time and resources. They find satisfaction in a job well done for others who are "needy." Typically seen as virtues in the United States, these "virtuous" behaviors can be perceived as aggressive and paternalistic elsewhere, making others feel inferior, weak, defective or disrespected. Consequently, the good we intend may not be seen as good by those we serve. And the blessing that flows from acceptance isn't felt.  - From location 644 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  112. Category width. The range of things we place in a mental category is called category width.  We all have mental categories by which we organize the world, make decisions and avoid confusion.  - From location 651 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  113. We name everything in our world, and those names become the categories by which we think. The person with wider categories can accept a broader range of items in a category. The person with narrower categories would rather create a new category than expand a present one.  - From location 653 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  114. The narrow categorizer has tighter definitions of "right," "wrong" and "different." You can see how quickly this can cause conflict between missionaries and between missionaries and nationals. Our mental categories and how we use them determines how we interact with others.  - From location 656 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  115. Both types of people possess some wonderful strengths, so it isn't a matter of which is better. However, when it comes to cross-cultural adjustment and ministry, a person with narrow categories has some tendencies that could hinder relationships.  - From location 657 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  116. Wider categorizers, on the other hand, tend to seek more information before making judgments and are more likely to put cultural differences in a neutral category rather than in the "wrong" category. This means that some of us must exercise more caution before making a judgment, lest we err in ways that are unfair to the local people.  - From location 659 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  117. Dogmatism - Dogmatism refers to the degree of rigidity with which we hold our beliefs, our cultural traditions, our personal preferences. The dogmatic person, one who holds firmly to their own beliefs and traditions, tends to see difference as wrong or inferior which must be corrected. This person lacks "openness in communication because of rigid boundaries of belief or practice ... in a culture."  - From location 661 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  118. It's one thing to have wider or narrower categories, but it's quite another to hold them as absolutely and always right. "The rigid mind cherishes sharp, clear-cut distinctions."  "If we hold our categories rigidly, we do not recognize individual variations," 19 and once we have placed someone (or some idea or tradition) in a category, we are unlikely to change our mind in spite of the evidence.   - From location 667 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  119. Social research says that the most frequent response Americans make to a situation is to evaluate what they just saw or heard as right or wrong, good or bad." Usually the standard for such judgments is how similar or dissimilar it is to me and my beliefs. We often use ourselves as the norm by which to measure others. If they measure up, we accept them; if not, we try to change them (one form of rejection) or distance ourselves from them (another form of rejection).  - From location 712 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  120. It's a good idea to monitor our thoughts and words to see how often evaluative language is part of our daily lives with our spouse, parents, children, friends, supervisors, subordinates-all our relationships. Consider a few examples: I like or dislike; I approve or disapprove; I am drawn toward or shun; this is right or wrong; it's acceptable or unacceptable, cool or uncool, nice or mean, attractive or unattractive, favorable or unfavorable. You get the idea. Try monitoring your thoughts and words, and see how many are evaluative rather than affirming, descriptive, inquiring or expressing empathy.  - From location 715 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  121. "One of the biggest problems ... is that we often insist that others think and judge in the same way we do. We do not accept one another in love, but rather we try to remake those around us into our own image." 22 That inclination to remake others in our own image is cultural cloning. People end up looking more like us than like Christ. Acceptance of them in their own cultural traditions helps us move from cultural cloning to discipling into the image of Christ. Servanthood means helping people look more like Christ, not more like us.   - From location 725 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  122. Pilgrimage to Servanthood:   - From location 728 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  123. The first principle in the pilgrimage to servanthood is openness. To be open like Christ is to invite others into our presence and treat them in ways that will make them feel safe in our presence.  - From location 728 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  124. Second, acceptance of others is to proactively communicate respect and dignity to each human being based on the fact that each is an image-bearer of God. Both openness and acceptance are deeply rooted in the character of Christ and expressed in his relationship to all humanity.  - From location 729 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  125. The third principle, trust, moves us yet closer to the goal of servanthood. Without trust little of significance will be accomplished.  - From location 731 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.