|1957 Pontiac Laurentian
I wish I was a bigger car guy, but I’m not.
It isn’t that I don’t appreciate a beautiful car or a classic pickup. Because I do.
I just don’t know as much about the mechanics of said car or truck.
Not as much as I would like.
It can be embarrassing listening to guys, or girls for that matter, rattle of number of horsepower and torque a certain car puts out, because I generally have no clue.
I nod my head along with them, trying to play that I know what is happening.
When it comes to actually seeing, or working on a classic car or a very nice pickup, I do know all the rules to that.
1. Do not touch.
2. DO NOT TOUCH, at all.
This can become particularly difficult when it is part of your job to touch said car.
When I’m not writing or preaching, I work at a quick lube/oil change place.
And I have seen some beautiful cars come through.
Lamborghinis, old Pontiac Laurentians, Novas, Mercury Flatbed trucks, just to name a few.
And it was in the midst of working on and admiring these wonderfully crafted machines that the book of James convicted my heart and challenged me in a great way.
The people that drive Lamborghini cars, have Novas or just show off their old Pontiac are usually people that are rich. Not always, but in most cases. The people that drive old Chevy Cavaliers or Dodge Caravans may have tons of cash as well, but there is a difference in how I treat those customers.
The customer with the Pontiac Laurentian , I treated him like gold. I treated his car like gold.
I didn’t lean on it. I didn’t let a single drop of oil hit the engine block. I made sure there was not a hand print on it.
But the guy with 2 screaming kids in the back of his Dodge Caravan? I didn’t worry about leaning on his van. If a drop of oil fell out of the oil gun, I didn’t care. And my hand print wasn’t a big deal when the van was covered in dirt and snow.
The book of James, a letter calling all Christians to act like Jesus says this,
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. (James 2:1-8 NIV)
James makes it clear that there should be no distinction between the rich and poor. In fact, Christians are to treat everyone the same. The amount of money that they have should not matter when it comes to showing them the love of Jesus, or treating them as the special creations they are.
But after I worked on that old Pontiac and the dirt Caravan, the Spirit put this thought in my head.
Not being a respecter of persons also means you aren’t a respecter of their stuff.
Not showing favoritism to a person isn’t just about treating both the rich and the poor fairly or the same.
It also includes treating their stuff with the exact same respect.
Now, this may seem like a stretch, but follow the train of thought.
|1961 Mercury Pickup
As much as it may be wrong, our society has taught us to be defined by what we have.
What you own makes you worth while.
So spend your money on the most expense trinket, the newest model of that thingamajig.
Then you will be special. You will be important. You will be worthwhile.
That is completely opposite of what Jesus taught us, and likewise James.
It isn’t the stuff that makes people important or special or worthwhile.
It is themselves, with or without the newest or most expensive stuff, that are important.
The individual is special.
As I took a breather after working on those two cars, the Spirit challenged me.
Will you love people just the way they are?
Will you show no favoritism, be no respecter of persons?
Will you treat people’s stuff the same whether it is Laurentian or a dirty Caravan?
It took me a while to answer.
And the best answer I could give was I’ll try.
I know that treating a Pontiac Laurentian and a Dodge Caravan the same, giving them both equal respect isn’t the fullest or best way to show people that they are loved by God.
But it is a start.
It is something I can do.
And something I will continue to strive to do with all my customers.
Regardless of what they drive.
What about you?
Will you do as the Spirit asks? As James asked?
Will you strive to show no favoritism, to show everyone is equal, to show everyone’s stuff as equal?
Let me know in the comments below, and tell me how you will show no favoritism in your jobs.
It will be an encouragement to me and may even help me show less favoritism.
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