Dr. Mark Troyer – “Google Word Search and Others Centeredness”

October 11, 2013

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)

I was reading recently in an editorial that Google has now scanned and catalogued over 52 million books that have been written through the past few centuries.  In a couple studies recently that used that database to review specific word counts in books during the past century it was fascinating to read that words like “unique,” “stand up,” “individual,” “rights,” and other words similar have been increasing in the last part of this century.  Words like “share,” “tribe,” “family,” and “collective” have been significantly decreasing.

I’ve seen it written that in the Philippians 2 passage above that the term “only” may not be there in the original language.  If that were true the reading would focus even more of looking out for others needs first rather than in addition to our own needs.   America was sure founded on a “bootstrap” mentality where it was and is valued to work hard, look out for yourself, and make something of yourself.  We also, however, came from roots that were very others-centered as families and communities worked together to scratch out a living and existence for each other. 

The gospel is about loving God and loving others. As we are so bombarded in our culture by doing things for me and getting what I deserve, let’s not lose focus on the importance of deferring to others, focusing on their interests, and remembering that Jesus took on the position of a servant to meet our needs.


- Dr. Mark Troyer, Vice President for Enrollment Management

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