This past Friday, I realized I had a home plumbing issue. I do not fancy myself to be a handyman by any means and plumbing has never been on my “what the heck, let’s try this” list.
So I call a company I used a few years back for a simpler job. An older man shows up, who has obviously been at the trade for many years. He looks over the problem and recommends a quick solution that seems a bit too simple and easy. I politely question him on the diagnosis. He assures me that is all that is wrong. So I trust his years of experience over mine. He charges me $70 for five minutes of work and I assume I’m good. Two hours later, after closing time on Friday, of course, I am not at all good. In fact, I am worse off now.
So, I go on-line and find another company who has Saturday service. A young man shows up who tells me he has about six years experience as a plumber. He takes a look and immediately tells me the problem and that it will take days to get the parts and cost several hundred dollars. He then tells me the alternative is an amazing replacement that costs over two grand. That, also, could be installed way sooner than the repair parts. I tell him I’m not ready to concede to that solution and pay him his service call fee. And so, two plumbers down, I am now officially back to square one.
By Saturday night, I was missing the good ole days when repairmen just fixed stuff. By Sunday afternoon, desperate for a solution, I start googling the issue. I read threads of what I perceive to be normal, ordinary, mortal men stating the same clear issue I am having and recommending a do-it-yourself solution that requires a part that costs $8 at Lowe’s and about an hour of labor. Several testify that they have successfully done this job on their own and have lived to tell about it on-line. Which as far as labor time for me, this means I need to allow double the normal guy for a mixture of prayer, displays of frustration, and under-my-breath cussing followed by the request for forgiveness, which then fortunately loops me back into prayer.
To cut to the chase—the DIY solution worked. And I got the first company to agree to shred my check because at least with the second company I got a correct diagnosis.
Here’s the take-away and let’s do what I often do here and turn this scenario around.
How often does someone come to us wanting help and we either offer a band-aid for their bullet wound so we can move on to the next thing or we try and sell them on something they don’t need rather than address their actual issue? To live the Christian life, touch people, and love our neighbor, we have to care. We have to engage. We have to stop and focus. We have to listen. We have to put others first. We have to get our hands dirty.
If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. —Romans 12:7-11 NLT