John 15: 9-12 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you
Mathew 5:12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Romans 13: 8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
It’s Saturday morning and Alex the gardener just woke me up with the sound of the lawn mower buzzing by my window, and then it went off, and then back on, and then off again. Two hours later, Cheryl came inside and told that me she was on her way to Home Depot. What for? I asked. “Alex needs a new spark plug for his mower” she replied. Uh oh, I thought. It was only a few months before that I had found Alex standing in the parking lot of McDonalds next to a truck load of gardening equipment. I was looking for workers to work on putting down my new stone patio, and had stopped to ask a stranger for directions. “I can help you” Alex said, “let me follow you home and give you a bid.” Reluctantly, I agreed. When we got to my house, Alex was very enthusiastic about what he could do to make our yard right. One thing led to another and he has now become our gardener. I had no idea that the truck and equipment belonged to Alex’s brother.
My wife and I really like Alex and are trying to do everything we can to help him succeed. He is a hard worker and is really trying to turn his life around. But sometimes that leads to new challenges. After replacing the spark plug, it becomes clear that the broken down mower that Alex probably bought at a garage sale is no longer fixable. Since we are his only client, he has been storing this antique in our garage. My first inclination is to wish Alex well and call out one of the many gardeners who knock on my door weekly. But my wife Cheryl challenges me to put my money where my mouth is … “he is such a hard worker and he will never give up” she said. So we just got back from Home Depot with a new mower. Did we have the money to invest in a mower at this time? Are you kidding? No way. But, I wish you could have seen the smile on Alex’s face. I hope I didn’t make a mistake … but then, if we didn’t take the chance to make a mistake, we would not have had a chance to positively change Alex’s life, now would we? And besides, I am confident we now have a friend for life. Break time … I need to check on the yard work.
I’m back. I just stepped outside to check how the new mower works. Everything looks great out there. Our yard is beautiful and Alex had finished the yard work and was washing my car. When I asked Alex what he was doing, he replied, “I’m washing your car out of appreciation.” Alex has the same type of mindset as the taxi driver described in The Old Geezer’s post today.
Thank you, Ron! Check it out. Did I make a wise business decision? That remains to be seen. But in any event, I am confident that I did what Jesus would have advised me to do and that is all that really matters …isn’t it? Making investments in people's lives!
Oops, there’s the doorbell, I’ve got to go again. Alex needs a ride home.
So let’s look briefly at the above verses:
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you. This is a principle that I taught in sales training for years. Sit down and make a list of all of the potential customers needs, wants, and concerns before you meet with them. Now the first time you meet with them, explain how you plan to deliver on these specifics and ask if there are any additional services that they are hoping for you to provide, and then proceed to deliver beyond their expectations.
This is the Law and the Prophets. I have provided the Romans 13 verse above for further clarification. Paul makes this clear beyond dispute. We don’t need to be legalistically following a set of rules, as Christians. This principle works in everything we do and for those things we choose not to do as well. As an example, a man should not only not visit a prostitute for the reason of adultery or not steal or murder for obvious biblical instructions, but more importantly because these sins are violations of the all inclusive “Law of Christ”. If we will just consider the impact of our actions before we act and we follow this scripture, the vast majority of our mistakes will be replaced with victorious Christian living. When pleasing ourselves drives the price we charge for our services, our customer suffers and we end up not getting a referral. When we deliver more than they expected, they are excited and refer their friends. If we first consider the consequences to others, then most often we will see immediate positive results. The proof of this could be that new friends are drawn to you like a magnet or that your income could greatly increase.
In my case … I got a free car wash and a new friend today.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you
God Bless you my friends, Bob