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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Serving others is the way to greatness

Over the course of years of ministry, I have had the opportunity to touch base with some of the giants of the faith, most recently, Jack Hayford.

At a pastor conference of 40 men and women, he invited us over to his home on a Monday night for dinner. It was a wonderful experience. He makes you feel special, like you are one of a kind.

My point is not to impress you with my brush with greatness. My point is to emphasize why Jack Hayford has become great. One simple reason: people matter to him. He has made a lifestyle of building up others—even others who can't offer much in return.

The Apostle Paul wrote...

Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2)

For his good, Paul said. In our quid-pro-quo culture, someone who is strengthening others with no strings attached will stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Arthur Ashe once said, "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but he urge to serve others a whatever cost.

Mark writes in Mark 10:45, "Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'

This week our challenge from God's word is to strive to build up others.

Our challenge is to make someone feel special.

Not for own interests, not in order to further our goals, but for their good. From a practical standpoint, doing this may not increase your bottom line. But from a spiritual standpoint, it will make a difference for all eternity.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I had a lunch-and-learn at work today on "Monday Morning Supervision," which is a book from author David Cottrell. One of the chapters is titled, "Buckets and Dippers" in which he discusses ways to get the most out of people and provide them the support they need to have. Now, David was going at the subject with an ulterior motive, that of getting the most out of people for the benefit of the company, but I made the point that I feel best when I'm building someone up, or giving, or just serving the people that I come in contact with.

I had a long discussion this afternoon with a worker who I've had to change his entire world this week. I've changed his job, taken away some status, and overall had the potential to make him feel like a failure. My heart was breaking as we spoke because I saw how much what we were doing hurt him...and I expressed my feelings to him as I explained why we moved in the direction that we had. Basically, we eliminated a program that he was the lead of for the last four years because it just wasn't working for anyone, including him. That didn't make it any easier to give him the news and try to ease his suffering. But I also took the time to listen to him, to empathize and sympathize, and to just engage in some honest discussion of where I wanted our organization to be within a year. I included him in the process and he appreciated my honesty and caring. Did I do it to make him a better employee for me? No, I did it because my heart was his...and I explained to him how much more important he was to the success of this place than I ever will be. I consider myself expendable at my company...if I don't come to work, the work still gets done...cops patrol the streets and deter crime (or fight it if you like that analogy, I personally don't) and firefighters put out fires and save lives. I tried to explain my personal philosophy to him and took the opportunity to once again explain where it comes from.

God is so good to me, always giving, always caring...that's my example for my life and the base (the whole) of my philosophy. To be more like Jesus is all that we should desire.

God loves matter where you are in life, He loves you. Please take the time to consider that and take the opportunity to love Him back.