Summary: How to be great in the eyes of God.

Servanthood ¡V The Path to Greatness

How to be great in the eyes of God

Matthew 20:20-28

Introduction: John C Miller in his book The Question Behind the Question tells the following story: It was a beautiful day in downtown Minneapolis when John Miller stopped into a Rock Bottom restaurant for a quick lunch. The place was jammed. He didn¡¦t have much time, so he was happy to grab the one stool they had available at the bar. A few minutes after he sat down, a young man carrying a tray full of dirty dishes hurried past on his way to the kitchen. Noticing John out of the corner of his eye, he stopped, came back and said, "Sir, have you been helped?¡¨ "No, I haven’t," John replied, but all I really want is a salad and a couple of rolls." "I can get you that, Sir, what would you like to drink?" "I’ll have a Diet Coke, please." "Oh, I’m sorry, Sir, we sell Pepsi, Would that be all right?" "Ah, no thanks," John said with a smile. "I’ll just have water with lemon, please." "Great, I’ll be back." He disappeared. Moments later he came back with the salad, rolls and water, John thanked him and he was quickly gone again, leaving John to enjoy his meal, a satisfied customer.

Suddenly, there was a blur of activity off to John’s left, "the wind of enthusiasm" stirred behind him, and then over his right shoulder stretched the "long arm of service," delivering a 20 ounce bottle, Frosty on the outside and cold on the inside ¡V you guessed it ¡V it was a Diet Coke! "Wow!" John said, "Thank you!" "You’re welcome," he said with a smile as he hurried off again. John’s first thought was, "Hire this man!" Talk about going the extra mile! He was clearly not your average employee. The more John thought about the extraordinary thing he¡¦d just done, the more he wanted to talk to him. So as soon as he could get his attention, John waved him over. "Excuse me, I thought you didn’t sell Coke," John asked. "That’s right, Sir, we don’t" "Well, where did this come from?" "The grocery store around the corner, Sir." John was taken aback, and asked "Who paid for it?" "I did, Sir, just a dollar." By then John was thinking profound and professional thoughts like, Cool! But what he said was, "Come on, you¡¦ve been awfully busy, How did you have time to go get it?"

Smiling and seeming to grow taller before John¡¦s eyes, he said, "I didn’t, Sir, I sent my manager!" John couldn¡¦t believe it. Was that empowerment or what? I’ll bet we can all think of times we would love to look at our boss and say, "Get me a Diet Coke!" What a great image, but beyond that his actions paint a marvelous picture of personal accountability and The Question Behind the Question ¡V or the QBQ! Look at John¡¦s server’s thinking and the choices he made. It was the lunch rush. He was already busy with plenty to do. But he noticed a customer who, though not in his section, looked as though he needed some attention, so he decided to do what he could to help. I don’t know what was in his mind at that moment, of course, but faced with a similar situation, many people would have had thoughts like these.

„« Why do I have to do everything around here?

„« Who¡¦s supposed to be covering this area, anyway?

„« When is management going to provide us with more products?

„« Why are we always so short staffed?

„« When are the customers going to learn to read the menu?

It’s understandable that someone would feel and think that way especially when frustrated, but the truth is that these are lousy questions. They’re negative and they don¡¦t solve any problems. I call questions like these Incorrect Questions, or IQs, since nothing positive or productive comes from asking them. They’re also the complete opposite of personal accountability because in each one, the implication is that someone or something else is responsible for the problem or situation. Unfortunately, though, they’re often the first thoughts that come to mind. It’s a sad fact that when most of us are faced with a frustration or challenge of some kind, our first reaction tends to be negative and defensive, and the first questions that occur to us are IQs. The good news is this moment of frustration also presents us with a tremendous opportunity to contribute, and the QBQ can help us take advantage of it.

The moment the IQs pop into our heads we have a choice. We can either accept them ¡V ’Yeah, when are we going to get more help around here?" - Or ¡V reject them, choosing instead to ask better, more accountable questions such as, ’What can I do to make a difference?" and How can I support the team - This in a nutshell, is the essence of the QBQ: Making better choices in the moment by asking better questions

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