Oh, out of the mouths of babes, right? Well, where else would you hear a statement like this, “Three for free or four more for a dollar”?
It was the most interesting and fun visit to my hairdresser I’ve ever had! I was her last appointment of the day, and her grandchildren had been playing outside, coming in from time to time to make profound statements here and there. I was definitely amused by them, especially when the little girl started talking about the oranges outside the shop.
Upon arriving I had noticed a little red wagon full of what appeared to be oranges, so my ears definitely perked up when this became the topic of conversation inside. The granddaughter stated, like a true entrepreneur, “Would you like to buy some oranges”? And since it was the end of satsuma season in South Louisiana, I had been contemplating an alternative, but before I could respond she said in a most business-like fashion: “You can have three for free or four more for a dollar!” At that point her grandmother, mother and I all burst into laughter at her enterprising thought process.
Well, of course I told her I would take some, and she inquired as to how many I would like. The grandmother told her and her little brother to go out and get twelve “good” ones, not the ones that were soft. It was at that point when I noticed out of the corner of my eye (you can’t really turn your head when your hair is being cut you know) that the grandfather had gotten involved in the process to ensure that I would receive quality produce for their efforts and my good money.
The full intent of the adults (while the children were outside getting my treats) was to give them the dollar from the tip money jar as they assured me I didn’t have to pay for them. But I insisted as this would be a true business transaction to help them learn the value of working for their pay. So, when they arrived back inside, they proudly announced that they had even given me two extra oranges for the same price.
The little boy could not yet write, but he had put the oranges in a box and proceeded to tell me he would sign the box for me. In his own little way he placed pencil scribbles on all sides of the flaps, and I thanked him for autographing it for me. He then picked up the box, deposited it at my feet, sighed and stated, “It’s heavy, and I’m the man!” We laughed once again, and then it was time for me to pay for my purchase.
I asked the little girl to hold out her hand so I could give her the dollar bill. She was so pleased with herself, and then the mother also gave the little boy a dollar bill from the tip jar. With that they both exclaimed that they were now going to the Dollar Tree to buy something. What a neat day this was! They each had three one dollar bills (apparently they had been selling oranges earlier in the afternoon as well) so I told them they could go to the Dollar Tree three times now. We enjoyed watching them participate in this experience, and I went home with shorter hair and a joyful spirit knowing I had helped two young people learn a little about free enterprise, plus I was happy that now I had some delectable fruit to eat.
How many times do we offer God the same with our lives? In effect we say, “Lord, I’ll do these few things for You for free, but if You want me to do any more, it will cost You something. I want a little recognition for what I’m doing for You…I want someone to see I have value because I’m able to do this, or I am just flat out prideful that I can do this for You.”
The lesson in our ladies class at church this week is on humility. It’s when we have a truly humble heart that it doesn’t matter in the least whether we receive recognition for what we’ve done or not. We do things for others simply because these people have value, it will be of benefit to them, and it’s what Jesus would do if He were on this earth.
The next time we find ourselves feeling a little prideful and wanting recognition, here’s a good question to ask: “Am I doing this for something in return?” Are we then, in effect, saying, “Lord, I’ll do this little thing for You without any recognition, but if You want me to do anything more, You’ll need to recognize me in some way?” If we do something to get the attention of others it’s really a form of pride, which is the exact opposite of humility.
Jesus is the epitome of how to exhibit humility. We are to emulate Him in all we do. He came as a humble servant…just for us. How much do we owe Him? We owe Him nothing less than our lives. Not to get that “dollar” but out of true gratitude for His sacrifice so we will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Where do you stand on the humility scale? Do you want to get recognition for the things you do or are you willing to do it for Jesus’ sake alone regardless of whether you are honored or not? Would you get an “A” in humility or are you more like a “C” or “D” student? Your answer makes a big difference…to God and to others. Need an attitude adjustment – a better grade? I do. Think about it. 🙂