Everybody likes tea slightly weak, but not too weak; certainly not strong. Accordingly when someone asks for a cup of tea my inclination is always to make it in that fashion. I do this because everybody likes their tea slightly……….
But of course they don’t, it is me who likes my tea slightly…………….and the problem is that I have this tendency to assume that everybody is like me. It is vital for any ministry in dealing with people to realise that “the tea issue” is a real issue. The fact is everybody is not like me. Some people may like their tea like me, but there are many many others whose preference is completely different.
This pattern of difference is manifest in a multitude of other areas. Accordingly, I must have a tripwire in my mind to make sure that I do not assume that everybody is like me. In my dealings with others I am most likely to get lots of things wrong if I fail to realise that everybody is different. I will start to be far more sympathetic with people and thoughtful when I take time to understand how they function and not assume that they function just like me.
If I want to be of help to people I need to continually have the tea issue in mind. I am likely to cause lots of problems and bring forth much offence if I do not grasp this basic principle. So don’t forget the tea issue!