Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All For Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
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.