Whether we are in customer service, accounting, marketing or leadership positions, we are always serving a customer of some sort. Sometimes they are internal customers and sometimes they are the paying customers; either way, they can be demanding. St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a great reminder of how we should act toward each other. The old adage of the “customer is always right” seems to have gone away with the full-service gas station. People in the customer service business these days seem to be bothered with us “customers” and our needs. As a leader, have you turned this way also? Do you think that people are there to serve you? How do you react when they need something or some help? Leaders must learn to deal with all types of people who have all types of needs. The management theory of situational leadership applies today more than any other time. The principle is that every situation (or person) requires a different approach than you used the last time or perhaps will use the next time. It requires patience, humility and gentleness.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
This verse is one of God’s directions for us. He teaches us, through St. Paul, how we should treat and live with each other. I haven’t found a person who enjoys the company of someone who isn’t humble and treats people poorly. We tend to tolerate these people in our lives because we have to, not because we want to. We are taught to love all of God’s creatures but some people make that very hard! Remain patient and tolerant, God is teaching you something. How do you act toward others? Are you the person that people merely tolerate? Are you gentle and humble with those who serve you? Take time to examine yourself and apply the direction that God is giving us.
Some in leadership positions believe in the RHP principle; rank has privilege. They believe that since they are in charge that certain privileges and rights are solely theirs; that others serve in support of them and at their will. This of course, could not be farther from the truth. Our job as leaders is to provide our people with the tools necessary to do their job; these tools include physical property and the knowledge and understanding to get the job done. We cannot support them if we aren’t working for them and they can’t support you if they aren’t equipped for the job at hand. Over the years, a lot has been written about the concept of servant leadership; when you lead others by serving them and helping them to be successful. A manager has the freedom to do what they want to and they can choose how it’s done; it’s the privilege of being a manager (having rank). If however, you are a leader, you will not use your freedom to indulge in RHP (sinful nature) but will serve others as you lead them.
Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge in sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
We all enjoy freedom and God has given us the ability to make free will choices. Free will means that we are not bound to anyone or anything, but we need to remember the first commandment – “You shall have no other God”. Do not be bound by your love for material things, possessions, positions, money, etc. You are free to choose to give your love to God and serve Him. Do not indulge in the sinful nature and avoid the traps of living today. We should serve one another in love. Jesus gave us a great example of serving others in love. He knew what people were thinking, he performed miracles, he was presented gifts and he was free to roam the countryside. He served in love, He taught along the way and showed us the way through His life. Most importantly, he gave himself for us as the ultimate demonstration of being a servant leader.