The Problem With Talking

The Problem with Talking

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“Show me a man who likes their boss and I’ll show you a man who is lying” Tony Dinozzo (NCIS: Truth or Consequences).

            I have to agree with Mr. Dinozzo, I actually do love my boss. Seeing as 10:31 does not earn enough for me to live on I have to work another job. This particular job is a manual labor job. I love jobs like this because I get to be outside, and I get to serve, to put into practice what was taught to me for all my years at Sterling College, Servant Leadership. See my job isn’t the most glorious, in fact I start each day cleaning and taking out the campus trash. I move furniture, I weed-eat, I edge, I get hot and sweaty and dirty, but I enjoy it.

But I’m learning something too, something that is a bit startling. That is that, it is one thing to talk about servant leadership, it is another thing entirely to be a servant leader. Working on a college campus you get the chance to observe all the professors from a different standpoint. You hear their requests, some of which are very ridiculous, and you see the way they react when something is not done to their liking and it can really change your perspective of them. Now, this does not apply to all the professors on campus, just a select few, but most of those that teach servant leadership have an even harder time practicing it.

I think this is because we often grow calloused to an ideal when we’ve heard it over and over. For example, our former president preached servant leadership until he was blue in the face, but as for actually practicing it, he treated those at the bottom of the pyramid with contempt and only associated with those of high standing. Instead of honoring the ones who were serving, keeping the college running smoothly and the buildings from falling down he seemingly looked down on them. Though he prided himself in knowing everyone’s name and major he never spent much time with the students.

This stands in stark contrast with our new president who picks up trash when he sees it (which really helps me), asks you how you are doing, calls you by name, shakes your hand and is extremely good humored. I have never worked for anyone who asks you how you are doing from day to day and will even come to a concert of yours if his schedule allows. That is not to say that this man does not have his flaws, but he worked to get where he is and you can tell he has not forgotten the people below.

Jesus, in the sermon on the mount found in Matthew 5-7, informs us that if we are to teach the law we must teach the “Full law.” For anyone who has ever taught anything knows there they must be real world application taught as well. If I simply teach on servant leadership but don’t act as a servant leader myself then I have failed to present the full teaching of scripture. If I do not show you with my life how to serve then how you will know by my words, it is not simply enough to talk about serving but to do it.

Jesus knew this, that’s why he died on the cross, so that we, could experience the grace of the living God and be transformed by that grace. Because “No greater love has any man than this that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:18). Jesus literally did lay down his life. Though he was “equal with God he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (Phil 2:6). Jesus very life was an example of not just teaching, but doing.

My mother once posted on our kitchen door “Love acted out is serving.” The idea being, if you love someone you serve them. If you love your wife, you serve her, if you love your family, you serve them, if you love your school you serve it, most importantly if you love God you serve Him. When actions follow our words we are more likely to draw people in and not put ourselves to shame. It is not enough that I simply lead 10:31 I have to do my best to serve 10:31. I do not always do this well, I fail, but I try to do more than simply teach.

After all, Love acted out is serving, so enough talk, let us serve one another with glad hearts. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ


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3 responses to “The Problem With Talking

  1. From my experience, _________ was a servant leader who lived what he preached. He invited students into his home, he spent time in the local community, and was very kind to me. I’m sure the new president is a great leader, but no need to create “stark contrast” and paint our past President in such a negative light.

    Otherwise, good thoughts. I enjoy your blog.

    • Matt,

      There’s a reason that I didn’t name, names in the article. I edited your comment to reflect the attempt to keep names out.

      Secondly, while I agree that he shared the qualities of a servant leader I do not consider him to be a servant leader. Yes, he had us over to his home, I was there once a week in the spring for two years. But the “Stark Contrast” comes out of way he treated fellow employees. Combined with the fact that many board members pulled support because of student complaints. And while I aknowledge that a servant leader isn’t supposed to be like by everyone he is supposed to or should be, striving to serve everyone. Something that this man did not do.

      Thank you for the feedback, I do appreciate your view of the matter.

  2. It puzzles me too. As a matter of fact on my way back to the shop from lunch, I walked by a faculty member, made eye contact and had a big smile and was ready to say hi, when quickly their gaze was quickly moved, and I was passed right on by like I was a ghost or stranger. Like I wasn’t even there. I have seen this person outside of campus with their family and in passing smiled and was going to say hi, but again the stare was quickly diverted. Me in my Sterling College T-shirt turned to my husband and explained to him who that was, and my husband laughed and said “friendly bunch”. But the bible says (1 Peter 4:9) Show hospitality to one another with out grumbling. Guess some lose sight of that.

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