Too Much Love?

“They love us too much!”

“What?” I asked in consternation. “How could anyone love you and your tribe too much?”

I was talking with Ramon one Sabbath afternoon about a group of Adventists who recently visited our tribe to hand out aid and preach to them. God has given Ramon the wisdom of Solomon, the statesmanship of Daniel and the leadership skills of Moses. So, what could he mean when he said this mission group loved them too much?

“These short-term mission groups have been coming to visit us for years,” Ramon explained. “I know that their hearts are good, but they don’t really help us. They come here and say, ‘Oh, you poor things!’ But they don’t teach us anything useful.

“The missionaries like your family, on the other hand, stay long-term. You teach us. You tell us some painful things that offend us at times. But they are true, and we need to hear them. You don’t leave when we get angry and give you the cold shoulder. You hang on, and eventually we remember what you told us. Then we understand, and it helps us to change for the better.

“So, you see, you could almost say that those short-term mission groups love us too much. They love us too much to say the painful truth. They love us too much to give us the pain of growth that truly helps us.”

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