I suddenly realised how blind I had been. I had totally failed checkout etiquette!
Reference: v.40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (TNIV Bible)
Explore: Standing in a check-out line at the supermarket is not my most favourite pastime. I like to get in and out as quickly as possible without forgetting any of my needed grocery items.
The last time I was standing in a queue, I tried to occupy my waiting time by mapping out the rest of my day. I still had to write an article, pay a bill, do some exercise, make dinner… the list was considerable, so the coordination of when I did what was crucial.
The time finally came for me to have my grocery items go through the check out. I had been so preoccupied with my daily planning that I hadn’t noticed that the gentleman behind me was only carrying two items, compared to my twenty items.
As I placed my items on the conveyor belt, the gentleman interrupted me and asked if he could go ahead. I suddenly realised how blind I had been. I had totally failed checkout etiquette by not offering for the next customer, holding only a few items, to go before me. I was so ashamed of myself.
“Please do, go ahead,” I said and proceeded in apologising for not noticing earlier. The gentleman hurried through the checkout and was on his way.
I was so disappointed in myself as I like to use any opportunity to show God’s love to the people around me. I had had the perfect opportunity – albeit small – to put someone before myself, and I had been too preoccupied with the rest of my day to notice.
When the checkout worker turned her attention to me, she smiled and said, “That was really nice of you.” I was surprised at her comment, as I had felt rude and ashamed for not being more aware of the people around me.
She explained that most people would have been frustrated at having been asked and some would even have said no to the request.
In the end it seems that I had made more of an impression on the checkout worker than the gentleman I had allowed in front of me.
Application: There is always an opportunity to put someone in front of yourself. We may not always notice it’s there, but it will present itself everyday.
The great thing is that even if we miss noticing the opportunity – like I did – God does not write us off as a lost cause. No, He presents us with another opportunity to show our love and care all over again.
Caring for other people is of high importance to God. It is one of the most important ways we can show our faith. Jesus’ two top commandments were 1. Love God and 2. Love others. And this parable of the Son of Man separating the sheep from the goats highlights it again.
This illustration that Jesus gave shows us that it doesn’t matter who it is, where it is, or how we do it, if we show love to someone in need then we are showing love directly to God himself.
While this may be a challenge to our current behaviour, it is also such a great opportunity for us to show our appreciation for all our awesome God has done for us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the sacrifice you made for us is so huge that anything we do pales in significance. And yet, you love to see the kindness we share with others. May we warm Your heart today as we share Your love with those we meet. Amen.
How can you take the opportunity to show God’s love to someone today?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.