You never know…

sundogMichael Hyatt (Blog | Twitter) posted a video yesterday of his trip with his wife to a bookstore near where they are vacationing.

The video shows them going in and looking around the store and it struck me that Mr Hyatt is CEO of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. Did anyone in that store have any idea who he was? Did they have any inkling of the incredible resource that walked through the door in the form of Mr Hyatt?

I can only imagine the insight you could gain from chatting to the CEO of one of the largest companies in your field. What could you learn by having a chance to quickly pick his brain on merchandising, marketing and future direction? – and yet it’s entirely possible that the staff at that store let him walk in and out without even taking a second glance at him.

That got me thinking about the people we meet, or pass by, every day of the week. What incredible resources do we miss just because we don’t know who we’re looking at?

Now it’s at this point that I have to admit that I was on a steep learning curve as I wrote this post. As with most posts, I wrote it in my head first and I would get a little way along in the process of writing it and realize that I was wrong in what I was saying. This happened a number of times before I finally got the message that God was quietly whispering in my ear and discovered that this is a follow up to yesterday’s post.

Yesterday I talked about how we, as Christians, should be so different, so full of and changed by the Spirit of God that people can clearly that we have something they don’t have.

Today, as I was writing this post, I realized that I was failing to do exactly that. I was writing it the way anyone would write it, the way the world would write it – I wasn’t allowing the Spirit to change my thinking and make me more like Christ.

You see, I started writing about how we should treat people better than maybe we would normally because you never know who they are:

  • They might be angels in disguise
  • They might be rich business people who could revolutionize your life
  • They may be your next boss
  • … who knows?

As I thought about that though, I realized that it was not exactly a Godly attitude I was proposing.

I rewrote the post a couple of times in my head getting closer and closer to the mark until that epiphany moment came and it hit me that we shouldn’t do things for what we will get out of them, we should do them because it is right, because we want to show the love of Christ and because it’s in keeping with the new character that God is building in us.

I said yesterday that we should be so different, so outstanding that people can’t help but see that we are Christians and today I want to continue to encourage you to do exactly that.

If I wasn’t saved, I would be encouraging you right now to be thinking, “what if the next person I meet is a Michael Hyatt or Bill Gates or Warren Buffet? I need to be treating every person like royalty just in case! I don’t want to miss the chance to impress someone who I could get something from!”

However, I AM saved, and (hopefully) so are you. So instead I want to encourage you to be thinking, “The next person I meet might be the last person I ever get the chance to share the gospel with. I don’t have to do it verbally but I can do it through my actions. I need to make sure that there is no shadow of a doubt in that person’s mind that I am not like most people, I serve God in all I do.”

You see, life is not about what we can gain, it’s about what we can give. It’s not about what we can achieve but how we can serve.

Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

So in everything you do, whether its at work or at play, at church or at the store, treat everyone in a manner that surpasses their expectations not for what you might gain but for what THEY might gain from it – and let God handle everything else!