And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
If you have ever been a restaurant server on a Sunday, you’ll recognize the irony of this verse. Christians have the notorious reputation of being some of the worst customers. The reputation is so egregious that a pastor even created a website for servers to share their experiences and bring attention to the remarkably unchristian-like behavior occurring. Over time, it wasn’t just servers that submitted stories to Sundays are the Worst, but retail workers and others in various customer service fields. To sum it up, most people working in hospitality have had numerous negative experiences with Christians. We absolutely are not spurring one another on toward love and good deeds snapping our fingers at servers and refusing to tip over being given unsweet tea instead of sweet tea by mistake. I don’t write this to suggest that Christians should not ask for what they need. I am instead suggesting that they should. Christians should ask, not demand. I have witnessed people who claim to act in ways that glorify God threaten to tell managers about dented cans, write spiteful comments on receipts, call assault accidental and blame it on skirt length, use racial slurs and degrading insults about intelligence and class status, and more. Again, Christians should ask, not demand. It is profound, yet simple. Would you talk to yourself that way? Would you make yourself cry like that, shaming yourself in front of a whole group of people? Would you make yourself feel that small and meaningless and unimportant? In the gamer world, Wheaton’s Law is well known and it’s probably one of the most helpful phrases I have ever heard as a Christian. For me, it’s a variant of the command to love your neighbor as yourself, but expressed by the actor that played the first cute guy to get me interested in science fiction. Wil Wheaton tells us “don’t be a dick”. If you’re loving your neighbor as yourself, you’re not going to be a dick to them. I prefer to look at bible verses in context and not take them one by one away from their surrounding scriptures, but Hebrews 10:24 just stuck with me. Have my actions today been ones that helped people feel loved, therefore better able to do more good and give more good themselves? I’m not responsible for the actions of other people, I know this. I am responsible for myself and I can work on asking for what I need without sacrificing the dignity of another.