31 Mar '12
No Neutral Ground
In every relationship we have we either contribute positively to the other or negatively. There is never any neutral ground. We either build the other up or diminish them in some way.
Recently we had a long stay in a hotel in Hong Kong. The day before we checked out the maid who did the nightly turn down asked Mary Ann for her email address. Mary Ann had given her dignity and developed a relationship with her during our stay. I wonder how often that happens to a hotel maid? And how easy it would have been to allow her to fade into background of our stay!
We meet people every day who because of their position or lack of status fade into the background. They are all around us but invisible to us. For Christ followers, there is no neutral ground. These are potential sons and daughters of the king, no small matter and our response to them either brings them dignity or diminishes them as the world often does.
Jesus was the master at finding those that the world diminished and giving them attention and dignity. If he were a greeter in one of our churches he would be looking for the loner, the poor, the one burdened by sin and in need of grace and be there talking to them, extending friendship. Jesus would go out of his way to give dignity to the "undignified," and honor to the "dishonored." Do we?
Try this experiment for one week: Look for all the invisible people that surround you. They serve you fast food, make your coffee, clean your office, do your lawn, or check you out of the grocery store. Go out of your way to engage them, thank, them and give them dignity. Taking them for granted is to diminish them. Remember, there is no neutral ground. We either build people up or diminish them.