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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

Many people get caught up in the idea that they are too important to do certain tasks. But that is a misguided way of thinking.  No one is too important to clean a bathroom, serve others food or pick up garbage.  And the mark of truly successful people is that they to do all tasks, whether big or small, with grace.

After I graduated from law school, my first boss was a judge. He had a staff of three: two secretaries and me.  My law degree didn’t matter to him.  In his mind, I was new and therefore, I was at the bottom of the totem pole.  So if he needed coffee (and sometimes a doughnut), I had to fetch it.  I could have pouted and made a big stink about having to get his coffee, but I didn’t.  I was happy to have a job.  So I put a smile on my face and fetched coffee.

The most important thing that I learned at that job was not the law. Rather, I learned that my education didn’t mean that certain tasks were beneath me.  And it forced me to make a choice.  I either could do menial tasks with irritation, or I could do them with grace.  The choice was mine.  So I chose grace.

I have seen countless people get fired from their jobs due to their inability to be gracious. Of course, no employer will tell someone that they are being fired for that reason.  Instead, they’ll call it “poor work performance” or “insubordination.”  But the reality is that many people get fired because they aren’t gracious.

Gracious behavior isn’t just important in the workplace. It should be exercised at home as well.  No member of a household is too important to cook a meal, mop the floor or take out the garbage.  And the models for gracious behavior in any family are the parents.  When children see that both parents are willing to do any task with a good attitude, they learn how to be gracious by example.

Jesus knew the importance of gracious behavior. It is significant that he washed all the disciples’ feet at the last supper.  He was trying to impress upon them that no one is too good to serve another person.

“Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  John 13: 5-7

What a powerful image. We tend to gloss over that part of the story, but we shouldn’t.  It forces us to ask ourselves, “Would I be willing to wash the feet of others?”  If my answer is “No,” then I need to take a hard look at myself.  If Jesus could wash the dusty feet of the disciples, then what excuse do any of us have for being “too important” for any task?

Being a gracious person will take you far in life. People don’t necessarily remember your mistakes or your triumphs.  Instead, they remember your attitude.  They remember whether you were willing to be helpful, or whether you were hard to ask for a favor.  And people want to help people who are gracious.  In fact, if you are a gracious person, you often don’t even have to ask for help.  Instead, offers for assistance and opportunities come looking for you.

Consider the ways in which you can graciously serve others today. Remember that it isn’t the nature of the task that matters.  Rather, what matters is our attitude when doing it.

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