When You Should Be Unfriendly

In Luke 10:4, Jesus sends out his disciples ahead of Him, urging them not to stop and greet anyone along the way. Not to greet anyone along the way?

At first glance, I thought this was a bogus request.

  • Didn’t Jesus’ ministry emphasize building relationships? You know, take time for people. Share a meal together. Have compassion on the children.
  • Didn’t He do miracles by the side of the road? Give sight to the blind man. Clease the one with leprosy. Heal the sick.

But then, God gave me new insight into this passage.

Jesus told them not to greet anyone because He knew they’d get distracted or unfocused and they may never reach the final destination.

So how did I manage to figure that out?

As I continue to participate in African culture, God is giving me new understanding into His Word. Here’s how it went down:

  • Tuesday morning, after breakfast, I leave the house with my hosts at 8:15am, heading into work.
  • 8:16 − 8:20 Just outside the gate, we stop to chat with the neighbors who live across the road.
  • 8:22 − 8:25 Three houses down a construction crew is building a new home. Greetings ensue.
  • 8:28 − 8:34 Political representative for the subdivision is standing at the corner. Salutations. Introductions. Discussion about local elections.
  • 8:35 − 8:42 A friend is washing clothes outside her home. How is she? How is her family? her children? her house? her church? her health?

Now nearly 30 minutes later, we’ve traveled less than 2 km.

Fortunately, work is less than 6 km from the house.

Unfortunately, we haven’t even reached the main road yet. At this rate, we won’t arrive till 10am.

As it turns out, we make several more stops and run a few errands in town. Eventually, we arrived at the office, ready to begin the day at 11:20am.

Have I mentioned that God is teaching this impatient girl the virtue of patience?

In America, I’m classified as type A.

I abide by schedules. I follow agendas. I like arriving on time. No, I like arriving early.

And that’s just one way Africa is changing me…


One response to “When You Should Be Unfriendly

  1. I love you but I contest your “I like arriving early” comment. I know you. We often wait for you. (Said with a smile to avoid emoticons you detest).

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