Love Through a Snapshot: Shot 2
I used to work at a bookstore. Besides being a bad salesperson when it came to selling membership cards (when people said “no” I took their word for it), there’s one thing I loved about it: being helpful.
Not just “Oh yeah, we have that book, it’s in the __________ aisle. Go there.” type of helpful.
But “Oh yeah, we have that book, follow me so that I can actually put that book in your hands so that you don’t have to go through the trouble of navigating the maze of aisles and last names unless you personally tell me you would love to find that book on your own”. The person you are serving is valuable, their time is valuable, and customer service is all about giving value in exchange for value.
And while culturally, some may disagree with American customer service of being over-helpful, I consider that one of our strengths.
It’s better to be over helpful than not helpful at all. It’s generosity.
It’s the idea of doing “nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3)
It’s counterculture to what we’re taught in life: to value others – your customers, your students, your audience, your client – above yourselves.
In society, we are taught to only give respect if that person has earned it.
Valuing others above yourselves does not mean to let people walk all over you or to oppress your self-worth.
This particular scripture is about going above and beyond what people expect of you.
Not because you’re trying to impress them or score brownie points with God but just because it’s the right thing to do.
While I struggle with generosity, the most beautiful people I have ever met were the most generous people.
If you’re a natural giver, it can feel detrimental when you “can’t” help everyone fully like you want to. You feel that you’re spread too thin. You become overwhelmed. You burn out then shut down in the depression of not being as helpful as you want to be.
As harsh as it may sound, we have to choose the audience we can be of the most help to or else we will burn out.
If you’re a music teacher, be abundant and fruitful where your gift lies – in music and spreading that knowledge to people who share that passion.
If you’re an artist – actually interact with people who have an appreciation for art – perhaps want to become artists themselves. You’ll feel more satisfied knowing that you can actually be helpful from your expertise and to people who really want it.
If you’re a missionary, get to know a person to see if that person’s heart is open to God. Then, dedicate your generosity of time, effort, and resources to being of help and support to that person you are serving. You’re not here to save the world. God is in charge of that.
I’m not saying you can’t be helpful to everyone, but as humans, we have to focus on the “one” person and how we can be most generous and helpful rather than spreading ourselves too thin and not being helpful at all. As a teacher, I know that it’s hard.
It’s something I bring up, because being helpful and generous as a believer is one of the inner battles I face… I know it’s not just my battle. I know countless people deal with the same issue too.
It was one of the main discussions I had with my second host family while in France. And in France, I was spoiled by beautiful people who showered me with generosity.
Shot 3 tomorrow. Testimony of Jean and Amy. <3