Two Kinds of People
- Kay Taiwo
“Our world has become a neighborhood without becoming a brotherhood.”
— Billy Graham, Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 4.
“A man went to an asylum for the criminally insane. He was a bit surprised to find that there were three guards to take care of a hundred inmates. He said to one of the guards, “Aren’t you afraid that the inmates will unite, overcome you, and escape?” The guard said “Lunatics never unite.” Locusts do. Christians should. If we don’t, we don’t know where our power is.”
— Haddon Robinson, “The Wisdom of Small Creatures,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 93.
Check your mindset
Every consistent, patterned behavior is governed by a preprogramed mindset. Nothing (in the human context) just happens. We have heard, learned, and perhaps embraced, that, people are unpredictable. Not so!
Even Hollywood knows this is not true. That is why they know which groups to target to bring in huge earnings at the box office or now, thanks to COVID, streaming services.
One such predictable trait of man is to be for or against something. People are either republican or democrat, capitalists or socialists, flamboyant or modest, for winter or summer, for or against abortion etc.
Jesus is beyond words can describe. He transcends the temporal and secures eternity for every believer.
One of the greatest insults ascribed to Jesus is to pin on the King of Kings and Lords of Lords a political label, or ideological man-made identification of capitalism or socialism. Be careful!
We don’t assess Christ by worldly imperfect standards, and assign our motives to His.
Please pay very close attention to these fundamental differences.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:16: Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more.
Interestingly, Jesus chose twelve disciples, some with distinct and perhaps rugged personalities to shake the world. But even though they were a small community of people, they were not forced to give up their individuality. The soup surely tastes better when all the ingredients added have distinct harmonizing tastes.
There are two kinds of societies in our world today; hence, two kinds of people: The Individualist and The Collectivist. The predominant predisposition of the American, and European culture is Individualistic. While the predominant value system of the people of Africa, South America, and Asia are described as Collectivist societies. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is a vivid illustration of the collectivist mindset. Once we understand people, we are better able to minister to them. Paul was very good at this.
1 Corinthians 9:20-22 (KJV):
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
The individualist tends not to appreciate the collectivist, and vice versa.
What is the difference?
There are disadvantages to being either an Individualist or Collectivist.
= The Individualist:
1. Tends to look out for only his or herself.
2. Has little to no accountability.
3. Tends to be insensitive about the interests of others.
4. May appear to be hasty.
= The Collectivist:
1. Tends to be too dependent on others before making decisions; therefore personal initiative suffers.
2. Tends to be easily “intimidated” by popular opinion.
3. Is not always self motivated.
4. Struggles with procrastination (tends to waste time).
You may be wondering, “which is scriptural: to be an individualist or a collectivist?”
I am glad you asked!
The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 12:27 AMP
“Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [Individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].”
Notice the emphasis in the Amplified Bible suggests that we are: a community of individuals.
So it really should not be the Individual versus the community. We must find balance.
Here is the application:
The individual who caters to the individual, MUST cater to the community. And the community that caters to the community, MUST also cater to the individual.
The result: both personal and collective growth.
*Recommended reading: Kay and Olu Taiwo’s book, The Vision Guided Life: God’s Strategy for Fulfilling Your Destiny: Click here