Why Wash My Neighbour's Windows?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Romans 13:9 – The commandments … and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (NIV 2011)

"Why don't you wash those windows too?" I asked a teenage boy who was washing a storefront window. I was pointing to the filthy windows next door. And they were very dirty, indeed!

"I don't get paid for that," the teen responded.

"But wouldn't that make your store look nicer?" I challenged him.

He merely shrugged his shoulders, and I walked on. What a shame, I thought later. Washing the next-door windows would have taken less than two minutes. It could have benefited his boss's business, the entire downtown appearance, and even this chap's own reputation as an employee!

He may have been a reliable employee. Yet, he didn't seem to grasp the potential benefit of extending himself beyond what he was paid to do.

Of course, we can't be critical of this youth. After all, when we look at him, we see ourselves. He's simply mimicking the world which shaped him. Let's admit, broadly speaking, that we're not good at looking beyond me-self. We don't easily think of ourselves collectively and see how our private choices affect communities as a whole, whether a business, family, school, sports team, church, or society in general. Thankfully, God has offered a better way: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Let's look at it this way: Our eyes are like windows through which we see the world around us. The clearer our vision, the better we can transform any menial task, such as window washing, into a radically proactive social gesture. And no one can stop us, except ourselves.

Is that not the distinguishing mark of the Christian?

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (NIV 2011)

Prayer: God, clear the dust from our eyes that we may see beyond our own interests and preoccupations. Empower us to see even our most mundane tasks as opportunities to be channels of love. Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to your prayer!

    Diane, this is a great reminder to all of us and thank you for sharing. May God continue to guide you.

    Very refreshing thoughts Diane.
    God Bless.

    Amen to your prayer, Diane.
    We are a self serving society. Thank you for the reminder that we can serve God in many ways.
    Bless you.

    I’m going out now to wash my windows.

    Hi Diane,
    Those people who do only what they are paid for will be doomed to receive only what they pay for. I recall years of coaching sport and extracurricular activities when many teachers left as soon as the dismissal bell rang. One “teacher” actually “felt sorry” for me when he told me how he much of he had paid off his house in second jobs. But the poor chap will have no fond memories of teams he might have coached and students he might have met outside of class, on the concert stage or in a myriad of things other than being in his class room.
    Who knows? That lad might have landed himself an added bit of pay had he done a few freebies. Worst of all he did not consider the rewards our Father has for those who go the extra mile.
    You made a good point, Diane

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