Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The arrogance of power

At the coffee shop I often chat with a man who formerly managed a high-end men's clothing store (considering the casualness of fashion today, it's probably good he changed professions). Today he told me two stories, both representing the arrogance of power, and unfortunately, extremely poor Christian witness.

The first was the wife who came into the store and selected four or five $500 suits (they would probably be $1,500 today), take them home, and then return all but one or two in 10 days. She did this about twice a month. Because his sales staff were on commission and the returns would really mess this up, soon he was the only one who would wait on her. Finally, he suggested to her that her husband come to the store, select what he wanted, and they'd do the measuring, tailoring, alterations, etc. She insisted that her husband was "too busy," and this method worked fine--they had a tailor on their staff who would do the alterations. So he explained the problem. She would take everything in his size; the manager would need to reorder; then she would return them, and he'd have too much. Plus, if someone his size came in during that overlap, he had nothing to show them. She was adamant. Her husband, a high profile local pastor (she identified him as though that should explain it all), was simply too busy. But then she wrote to his regional manager, and complained about how she was treated, although he says he'd been very polite and tried to work out the problem. I've known him long enough to know he has excellent people skills. But I've dealt enough with the public to know that people with a sense of entitlement are not influenced by this. Only obsequiousness satisfies them.

The second incident (same store) involved a rising, popular, young gospel singer, in town for a concert in the mid-1980s. He came into the store with one of his "roadies." He complained about the selection and said he had much better choices in (southern city). But he did buy a sport coat. He was so whiny and arrogant, that the former manager remembers him to this day (I looked him up not being too familiar with this genre and he's been in a sex scandal, but has continued his career). The bright spot was that the roadie was a real nice guy.

The man I was talking to is a Christian. He said if he hadn't been, and those two were the only Christians he knew, it certainly would have turned him away from the faith.

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2 Comments:

  • At 17 January, 2008 10:59, Blogger Jim said…

    I am careful about this in my own life because my flesh can grow bolder and arrogant of self-centered rather than Christ-centered. How am I REALLY serving Christ?

    "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life."—Psalm 39:4

    This is my own "self-examination" regarding my relationship with God because "personal interest" is the motive behind all conducts that foolish decisions and proudful. How can I distinguish my motives?

    It is a grave responsibility when we take upon ourselves when we seek to edit out of God's true character for the benefits of ourselves. As Christians, our hearts should have holy motives to serve God through the Holy Spirit.

    I love this quote by A.W. Tozer:
    "The carnal approach usually does little more than to alienate the enemy still further from us and, worse than all, it puts us in a position where God cannot help us. The enemy never quite knows how to deal with a humble man; he is so used to dealing with proud, stubborn people that a meek man upsets his timetable. And furthermore, the man of true humility has God fighting on his side--who can win against God?"

    It's been jokingly said, "I love Christians but it's their attitude I can't stand." Christians continue to manifest childish behavior instead of growing to spiritual adulthood is a sign of spiritual weakness. They often ignore the sanctifying effects of the cross carrying and skip the Spiritual training which is necessary for forming spiritual fruits that are needed to wrestle against the world, the devil and the flesh. In 1 Corinthians 13:5 says "Love does not act unbecomingly"

    Satan's first sin is pride, then the real source is PRIDE. If we desire honor and glory from God, we must display humility first. That is contrary to our earthly philosophy, which exalts pride. God gives his grace only to the humble, who admit their dependence on it. If, therefore, we hope for his grace to lift us up to holiness, we must "humble (ourselves) before the Lord" (Jas 4:10). The Greek word alazoneia refers to being proud when you really have nothing to be proud about. We live in a proud and egotistical generation. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (Jas 4:6, quoting Pr 3:34). God's grace is amply sufficient to enable us to live a godly life that God gives his grace only to the humble, who admit their dependence on it. If, therefore, we hope for his grace to lift us up to holiness, we must "humble before the Lord" in faith.

    Thank you for reminding me and I am going to share this blog post in my blog tonight with others. This is a good blog today.

    Jim

     
  • At 17 January, 2008 15:18, Blogger Norma said…

    Jim, this is a great quote: "The enemy never quite knows how to deal with a humble man; he is so used to dealing with proud, stubborn people that a meek man upsets his timetable." Thanks!

     

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