Having The Same Attitude Toward One Another That Christ Jesus Had
Treating myself and enjoying myself, I chose to have a meal at my much-loved home away from home supper nook the other night. The chef once again proved, in my book, he was ichiban, numero uno, and number one when it came to preparing a good feed.
Sitting at my ole familiar table, I began thinking through which choice I would have to eventually make. Would I let what happened to me earlier in the day have an effect on me in the negative or else would I emulate a duck, allowing the earlier incident’s emotional fallout, cascade over the consciousness of my mind like surging water rolling off the back of a duck?
The subject in question involved having to do with customer service.
Standing in the middle of an aisle looking perplexed, a customer service employee approached and offered her service. I gratefully accepted. I began to summarily share my dilemma. The employee that was helping me asked if I was being helped by an approaching worker that appeared to be walking towards our direction. I answered, “No.” The question seemed odd to me. Being distracted by the question, I continued sharing with her now my concluding remarks.
Without any verbal words of warning or provocation from me, I watched as the customer service employee turned and began sauntering down the aisle. I continued to observe her until she found another puzzled looking patron appearing to be in need of help. I was completely speechless and awestruck.
I let the on duty supervisor in on the facts of what had just transpired. As she appeared to listen, I also let her in on my earliest perplexed concern.
First, giving me a cursory resolution to my original distress, she then addressed, from her point of view, the importance the role customer service should play in today’s culture. The supervisor expressed that she was angry about the absence of quality control this company showed when it came to training staff workers about customer service. The supervisor continued acquainting me with a litany of customer service nightmare experiences she had witnessed prior to coming aboard as a supervisor for this company. I listened patiently, as best as I could, under the circumstances. After her venting she assured me she would get to the “bottom of it,” that is, finding out why her subordinate abruptly walked away from helping me without any explanation.
I continued about the store conducting my business. As I was approached the exit I once again caught sight of the supervisor. She approached me, expressing what appeared to be, a non-negotiable and no-nonsense facial expression. I asked her had she spoken with her employee, had she found out why her employee had chosen to abruptly walk away from helping me without any explanation. She then, with what may be interpreted as a chubby cat sly smile answered, “Yes.”
According to the supervisor’s findings, the cause given by her employee for curtly walking away from aiding me without any comment was that as the worker was paying attention to me, I turned my body and looked in the direction of the other approaching worker. This furtive movement, lasting only a few seconds, was straight away read between the lines that I was giving the impression I no longer was requiring her earlier easily accessible offered assistance. So off she pranced, feeling justified and now feeling vindicated being looked after by her supporting boss. Even though when I answered her, “yes, I would like her help” and answering “no,” when asked if I was being helped by the approaching worker.
Borrowing, General Anthony McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st Airborne, response, "Nuts!," when told of a German invitation to surrender, before a WW II battle later to known as the Battle of the Bulge, this was now my felt response. Actually, I felt more like expressing something more colorful like General George Patton. Nevertheless, as though she was able to read my mind at that moment, the supervisor went on to say, “Listen you have a choice here. You can either let how you feel she treated you affect you or you can choose not to let it affect you.”
Christian Comfort and Mindset
What is going on inside my spirit that causes me to react with such emotionally destructive feedback? An acquaintance on mine recently shared, “I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” These spontaneous events come to all of us daily. True, as a Christian in the Body of Christ, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 Still, as a human being not yet glorified; sometimes as I feel slighted, it gets to me and sometimes more than it should, maybe.
The Apostle Paul's letter to the Church at Philippi offers some guidance and direction along with being the Word of God a reality check for us, God’s elect. “Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11
Activating Event - Beliefs About Event - Consequences Emotional / Behavior
Having earned A Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, one of my favorite upper division psych classes I took was Personality Theory. Meeting for eighteen weeks, three times a week, theorist such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Erich Fromm, William Glasser, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and George Kelly, Hans Eysenck, B. F. Skinner, Albert Bandura and my teachers favorite, Harry Stack Sullivan, plus others, were all introduced.
One of my favorites was Dr. Albert Ellis and his Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy, REBT. This is the personality theory I make use of the most when it comes to acting in response to people in my life that state again and again about how everybody and everything were responsible for the way they behaved irregularly. Flip Wilson a 70’s comedian hosting his own show called The Flip Wilson Show from 1970 to 74, invented a most memorable character on the variety show sassy Geraldine who liked to quip “The devil made me do it” and “What you see is what you get.” These are people who choose to place the blame on others for their behavior. These are people who repudiate a claim that they may have individual restraint over their own emotional responses to a given stimuli. It is common to hear, “X, Y, or Z made me do this or made me do that.” Like the character Geraldine, “The devil made me do it,” “If it weren’t for X, Y, or Z causing me to react the way I did, I would never have done this or that.”
A. An act occurs that results in involving you in some way. B. A worldview is the way you see the world – the way you interpret the events and circumstances around you. Your worldview interprets what event you were involved in. C. This is the reaction you entertain regarding the experience that occurred which you were in involved you in some way.
“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:3-8
From The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Attributed to King Solomon
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war; and a time of peace.
As with the King Solomon’s divinely inspired poem found in the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:”
“Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandment because this is the whole duty of man. For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:12-13