Many of us started our work careers in the service industry. While most of us as teenagers/twenty-somethings didn’t envision a job in a fast-food joint or a retail store as being part of our long-term work plans for life, there’s an important aspect that hopefully a lot of picked up on during our time behind the cash register: providing good customer service.
Even though we may not have always been thrilled about the bosses that we work for, our employment responsibilities, or even the business itself, a good employee always rises above any personal displeasures or challenges he or she may face and be a great representative of the company. While others grumble and put in the minimum effort in order to cash a paycheck, a wise employee will give their all to retaining their customer base and providing excellent service no matter what.
We can take that same general principle to Christian living. If you’ve been through the New Testament a time or two, you probably know of exhortations that urge us to love and act as Christ’s representatives. The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23 and 24 urges us, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. ” [Emphasis mine] Paul also wrote to the Corinthian church: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 [NIV]
Folks, I urge you to do this in every area of our lives. Yes, we should definitely rise to the occasion in our workplaces, showing a dedicated, indefatigable work ethic even when facing aggravating coworkers, overbearing supervisors, disdainful customers, and mountains of endless work. Show up with a joyful attitude every morning with the confidence and contentment that, no matter what, God will get you through the day, and that you are working directly in honor of His Kingship. Your co-workers may gripe about the boss and hate his or her guts; but you should let your speech and actions be counter to that by not partaking in the chorus of complaints. Humbly show people that you are different that despite the severity of the work you may encounter, you will be unwavering and rejoice in our Lord!
Don’t let it end there. Let this attitude permeate in all other areas of your life. Let your family relationships brim over with Christlike love and graciousness. Show exceptional trustworthiness, dedication, and attentiveness. Maybe you’ve been halfheartedly handling email or text conversations. Take a look at those relationships and personally see how you can improve them. What you should aim for is having everybody feel the one-on-one attention and love of Christ.
If you serve at church or volunteer at a ministry, work hard at all times to show love and commitment to everyone, not just certain individuals or at certain times. Don’t just prioritize your favorites or play nice with those you want to get something from in return. I know at times in the past I’ve been nice to the people I’ve “had to” be nice to, but then walk out in the parking lot and quickly drop my fake smile. It’s come back to bite me and has shown me my hypocrisy and inauthenticity, and I don’t want that to happen to you.
Strive for excellence. Hunger for God and pray that He would help you project the Spirit’s holiness and joyful courteousness. You never know what conversation you have with someone that will turn someone’s perception of God or the church from good to bad. You never know what interaction will change things for the Kingdom. Act as if your actions and reactions to things are always on display, because…well, they are. Have them honor the God you claim has changed you by living out a life that shows that actual change.
You are a representative of God (and to a lesser extent, your church or ministry). Show great “customer service” to everyone and show people how worthy our God is by living for Him!