I stopped into a local fast-food restaurant for a late lunch. The teenager who took my order was obviously a new employee who was still being trained. When my food appeared, he stuffed it into a paper bag. I was waiting at a nearby table, as I planned to stay there and eat. The manager noticed this and asked me, “Is that order for here or to go?” When I verified that I was eating there, he turned to the teenager and instructed him to put it on a tray for me. The boy plopped my food onto the tray, then slid it carelessly across the counter.
With a look of exasperation on his face, the manager said, “No, take it to her table.” Reluctantly, the boy did so and quickly set it on the edge of the table, several feet away from me. Again, the manager corrected him, “No, put it in front of her, just so,” and demonstrated it. The boy just gave him one of those “Who cares?” looks and walked away, clearly not interested in learning how to provide good customer service. That was a month or so ago; I wonder if he still works there. Did he change his attitude and respond to the manager’s instructions?
“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26b-28 NLT)
How are we serving others? What kind of attitudes and actions are we showing to the world? If we are Christ-followers, we are charged to first love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then, as an outgrowth of that love, to love our neighbour as ourself. Paul clarifies this further in Philippians 2:4 – “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Responding to challenges from the religious leaders in Matthew 23:11, Jesus declared, “The greatest among you must be a servant.”
Look at the italicized words: love our neighbour as ourself, take an interest in others, and be a servant. These, and the Scriptures that include them, give us clear guidelines for our interactions with others.
This boy’s actions gave me pause: do I have that kind of attitude when I’m in a position to serve others? Do I, so to speak, stuff it in the bag or plop it on the tray? Hopefully, I respond more like the manager: “Do it just so.” For the Manager of my life “came not be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
What can we do today, tomorrow, this week, and into the future to act in such a way that those around us see Christ in us?
Prayer: Father, help us to be faithful and to live for Christ, so that others will see Jesus in us. Help us to lead the lost to life and light. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Sharon Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission