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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dressed to Serve

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:16-18 NIV).

The other day I met with a businessman in his downtown office in Saint Petersburg. Like many of his other client-customers no doubt, I took for granted that he would serve me, and indeed he does have a servant's heart. I attended our meeting in casual clothes, including a golf shirt. As always, he wore a business suit. At one point he told me with chagrin that recently during an event of the Republican National Convention held in our city, the anti-Wall Street demonstrators downtown ridiculed him as he walked to get lunch because he was dressed in business attire. I felt grieved that someone with a servant's heart was so despised and met with such ridicule. It reminded me that while the arrogant may wear nice dress clothes to intimidate and to imply superiority, that certainly need not be nor is typically the objective. Such clothing can be an expression of humility and respect. In this telling pop quiz of character, the proud and arrogant were the most casually and informally dressed. It is clear to me that the sense of superiority that is such a curse in human affairs resides not in one's clothes, but in one's head.

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