In recent months I have seen so much rude and crude treatment of people who are laboring in the service industry. Living on the road I depend every day on those who are involved in these fields. Airlines, restaurants, hotels, stores, and a host of other spheres provide services that are essential to life and work. We have all grumbled over the lack of service or the lower standards of service in so many places. Frankly, we have been spoiled for a long time! Travel in third-world countries and you will soon discover that our first-world problems are not so terribly bad.
It is true that with many businesses operating with fewer employees and diminished supplies service has suffered. But as a Christian it is important to remember that how we treat those who serve us bears on the testimony of the Christ we are called to represent. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- No matter how bad it is, we are blessed! Choose to find the good and rejoice in the Lord.
- Those who are willing to do the hard jobs are valuable and should be treated respectfully.
- Those who follow Christ are not to be looking for better ways to be served, but for how we can best minister to others (Matthew 20:28).
So, how could we serve those who are working in the service industry at this time?
- Show appreciation. Kindness goes a long way and “thank you” makes all the difference. The only time some people hear any feedback is if there is some annoyance or aggravation. Don’t just submit complaints – give gratitude.
- Share consideration. Make eye contact. Speak courteously. Give a generous tip if appropriate. But, by all means, treat the person serving you in the way that you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Through every means available seek to show the love of God.
- Start a conversation. Laborers are often ignored. Take the time to ask how they are doing and to engage them in a meaningful conversation. Many times this will present an opportunity for sharing Christ or being an encouragement. People are not objects to be used and everyone needs to know they are important.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Colossians 3:12-13).
Think of how Christ treated people in every realm where He came into contact with them! James Stalker wrote of Jesus: “He lived to increase the love of man to God and the love of man to man; and nothing which could serve either of these ends was unimportant in His eyes.” May God help us all to be true Christians at all times, in all places, in all circumstances, and with all people.