Have you ever considered what your greeting says about you?
Do you greet people or do you grunt at people?
I’m often amazed by the sheer lack of greeting I (don’t) hear in the various places that life takes me. Having grown up with a mother who greeted every person, every time and everywhere, its inherent in me to do the same.
Have you ever told the greeter, say for example at Wal-Mart, “Good Morning Sunshine, how are you today?” Chances are you haven’t and that is really sad. He or she might have needed that kindly word to help them though something difficult in their lives that day.
When we lose our desire to greet others with respect, courtesy and kindness, we have failed to show them the heart of God. Smullin
I was really thinking about this yesterday as I was reading the book of Jude for Bible Study. It really wasn’t the “phrases he used” that captured my heart, rather it was his heart behind in his words.
Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother to James… (I think he was also the brother of Jesus, but I could be wrong please don’t quote me)
To some of you that is no big deal, but it spoke volumes to my heart about what Jesus had done in Jude’s heart.
Paul often starts his letters to the churches; Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. Not that I’m saying that is a bad thing at all.
I just love the pureness of the heart of Jude’s greeting.
It has a haunting, melodic sound to it that draws you into the book of Jude itself.
Jude just spoke what was in his heart. He didn’t try to make a name for himself, or promote himself. He just simply, with tremendous respect, courtesy and kindness, not only to Jesus but to his own brother James, began his greeting humbly.
If you go on to read the book of Jude he deals with haughtiness and arrogance within the church and so the greeting was applicable.
It made me start thinking about how I present myself to others in greeting.
So I’ve made a list (checked it twice) and I want to share it with you.
- I’m smiling and pleasant, or
- I’m growling and grumpy
- I’m considerate and kind, or
- I’m self centered and pushy
- I’m all about you, or
- I’m all about me
As Christians we are supposed to be the pure radiance of God’s glory everywhere we go. Scriptures tell us they will know we are Christian by our love.
How would you feel if you went to church, the pastor gave a fantastic message. You can’t wait to share with the Pastor how awesome you thought it was , only to get to your turn and all he does is look at you, then turns and walks away.
You would be devastated, heartbroken and mad all at the same time. Nobody would be able to get near you for days until you cooled off.
I’ve noticed a couple of predominate types of greeters so I’ve listed them below. It is my hope that you don’t fall into either category.
Some of you however may fall within the boundaries of both. Don’t be offended just work on doing better.
Egomaniac: These are those people who are up close, in your face people. The ones who are always trying to sell you on how great they are, how great their lives are, how beautiful and talented their kids are, how much stuff they have… you get the idea right?
They never once ask you anything about your own life.
The insanity of it is that they walk away feeling they have just given you the best day ever.
If this is you, reconsider immediately, because no-one and I mean no-one wants to see you coming.
I think you get the point.
Now for my favorite one:
Perpetual Mourner: Have you ever been greeted by the perpetual mourner? These kind are my favorite.
They remind me of Charlie Chaplin unplugged.
Before they are done, you know every single thing they have had operated on, what is coming up next, what sickness they have or have had.
They will give you the litany of who died, who they wished had died. Their list of complaints goes on for hours and hours. They never have anything good to say about themselves or anyone else for that matter.
Oddly enough they feel a bit of satisfaction in knowing they had you cornered and you were to polite to tell them you had to go. They absolutely thrive on pity.
If this is you, you really need to pray about seeking counseling… You have some issues that aren’t necessarily physical.
Now that I’m about done, I want to leave you with a greeting exhortation from Paul the apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I love it. You probably will cringe…
He said that when we see each other we are to greet each other with a holy kiss.
I Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12;
Peter even mentions it in 1 Peter 5:14
Don’t start choking on me. I’m not advocating smooching amongst the brethren. In our culture that really isn’t considered appropriate but around the world it is.
Simply speaking, Paul & Peter were saying to greet each other with respect, in a dignified way, smothered in allot love and kindness.
Brothers and Sisters this is a charge for all of us to keep, not just amongst ourselves but with the world around us.
Be the Glory of God that some folks have not ever seen. Be the only kind word they may ever hear and be the only smile they may ever receive~ Smullin
Last verse and I’m done~
1 John 4:7-8 (KJV) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth Is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
I’m hid with Christ!