The Way to a Different World – When Man Listens

 

The Way to a Different World by Cecil Rose for The Oxford Group

These are real people from a growing company of men and women who are breaking down barriers and creating new relationships by their simple honesty about themselves. They are prepared to pocket their pride, risk their reputation, hazard their material interests, for the sake of living in the open with their fellows. They are creating a new atmosphere in every community into which they go. They are breaking down the barriers, and opening up the way–the way to a different world.

In this different world we shall not only know each other; we shall trust each other.

You cannot work with other men satisfactorily unless you trust them and they trust you. You will not trust them while you suspect that they have an axe of their own to grind. They will not trust you while you are holding on to anything which you are not willing to yield up for the common good. It is this holding on to our own private aims, our own private interests, our own private possessions which splits up any community. It divides nation or family into separate and competing factions and individuals, who only hold together so long as their interests do not clash.

A belief in the other man’s disinterestedness is the only basis on which men and women can live and work together in an unbreakable fellowship. The real problem of life today is to create trust.

Imagine for a moment an international conference, a meeting of employers and employees, a church committee or just two people seeking the settlement of a dispute, which each believes the other to be entirely free from private aims, and concerned with nothing but the common interest of both sides! What need to say more? At that level the major problems of mankind disappear.

Trust is not created by waiting for the other man. It begins to form and grow around those who give themselves utterly to other people. Jesus’ answer to a divided world was to give the whole of Himself to others, and so to create around Him a little community where trust and cooperation had been generated by self-giving. That community–at first only twelve men–was the growing point of the new world. The living cells of the new world today will be companies of men and women, in home, business, town, and nation, who have learned to trust each other and live without barriers.

There is no other solution. There is no other way by which the creative love of God can get out into the world to form a new trusting relationship between men, except through a self giving like Christ’s.

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