I had a very fruitful but frustrating meeting yesterday. It was fruitful because I secured a great house for two new team-members who are arriving in a couple of weeks, but it was frustrating because of part of my conversation with the delightful landlady. As we signed contracts, I said:
“I think you can be confident with the ladies taking on your house. They’re both solid believers.” (In Burundi, probably 85% of the population would say they were Christians at a cultural level, but if you’re a real believer – born again, if you like – then you’d use the term ‘umukizwa’, which is what I used).
She replied: “Well, I’m sure it’ll work out fine. You appear to be trustworthy, but the last man we kicked out left with unpaid debts, and he was an ‘umukizwa’ too.”
I apologized on behalf of whoever he was – not that it was my place to – and expressed my annoyance at him and the many others who give followers of Christ a bad name. I’ve had way too many such conversations in the past. Aargh!
Anyways, it’s a reminder for each one of us wherever we are, whatever we do, to walk the walk and not just talk a good game. It’s more than just our reputation that’s on the line…