Peter Drucker, in his book Management Challenges for the 21st Century, writes:
“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time is written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event those historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time—literally—substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”
The world, into which we are called to share the good news, is a world of choices. This world of choices is shaped and directed by our values, by what we hold to be important, our worldviews.
Our worldviews, our views/perceptions, shape our understanding of the world and our understanding of the people of the world. Stephen R. Covey, in his book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, explained that we are shifting from a “thing” paradigm of the Industrial Age to a “whole-person” paradigm of a new Knowledge Worker Age. He wrote:
At the core, there is one simple, overarching reason why so many people remain unsatisfied in their work and why most organizations fail to draw out the greatest talent, ingenuity and creativity of their people and never become truly great, enduring organizations. It stems from an incomplete paradigm of who we are—our fundamental view of human nature.
The fundamental reality is, human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional—body, mind, heart, and spirit.
If you study all philosophy and religion, both Western and Eastern from the beginning of record history, you’ll basically find the same four dimensions: the physical/economic, the mental, the social/emotional and the spiritual. Different words are often used, but they reflect the same four universal dimensions of life. They also represent the four basic needs and motivations of all people: to live (survival), to love (relational), to learn (growth and development) and to leave a legacy (meaning and contribution).¹
With this in mind, what would happen if we began to receive people as persons to love and to enrich our lives, not as commodities to get what we want? What would happen if Christians began to model for our communities, our neighborhoods, and our cities the value of human beings and began to love people the way God has loved us?
Is it possible that as a Christian community we could begin to shift the way our culture sees people? Is it possible that we could begin to be instruments of transformation for our communities?
Jesus says, “’Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:36-40, MSG).
By loving God and loving others, what difference could you make in your community?
Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, 20-22.