I am reading the book by David Kinnaman, You Lost Me, about the reason why many young Christians are leaving the church and it’s having a sobering affect on me. I’m convinced more than ever that God is good, Jesus loves us, and the church has to do a better job of living out the gospel.
What particularly struck me today in my reading was a story that David tells about his friend Luke who works at a local coffee shop that he frequents. It seems that a man comes into the coffee shop everyday and regularly buys a small coffee and then always asks for an extra large cup as well. He then proceeds to put cream and sugar in his small coffee and then fills the extra large cup with 2% milk. After watching this man do this a number of times, Luke informed him that the next time he came in he would have to charge him for the cup if he continued to fill it with milk. The man became so upset that he complained to the manager and in the end the result was that Luke was written up for “failing to leave the customer with a positive experience”.
Say what? When I read this story my jaw literally dropped with astonishment. I get it, value the customer, apologize for upsetting him, and give him a pleasant experience, but how can someone be written up for doing what is easily seen as the moral thing? What about saying, “Way to go Luke thanks for looking out for the best interest of the company” and rewarding him. When did our value system as a society change to depend more on the outcome of the situation rather than our own rights?
I guess why this hijacks my emotions a bit isn’t because I’m worried if I’m going to eventually get busted for putting too much cream in my coffee, but more about how this reality will continually erode our world. What this begins to tell the next generation is that it is wrong to stand up for what they believe and it’s wrong to make a determination about someone else’s situation and react to it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if someone hadn’t stood up to me and questioned my behavior. I owe my very life and soul to someone who didn’t even know me, but spoke to me about what they saw wrong with my life.
In our society there has to be a standard to operate on to make us strive to achieve something greater and something more profound and useful than doing what we want. God set the standard for us and the more we know Him the more we live by His standards.
It is not what you and I do... It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them! – Galatians 6:16 (The Message)
Have the courage to stand up for what you believe and help others see the standard that God set for us to live up to.