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Preparing Your Heart For Worship: Help I am Just a Volunteer

I was mad and I was frustrated. I was speaking to the customer service representative of my cable and internet company. Once again, I was having to request that they come out and fix the same problems that were supposed to have been fixed a week ago. And to top it off, I was being told that they would schedule a technician in a week. I was having to keep my temper in check as I knew that the person on the other end of the line wasn’t responsible for my poor service. They were merely the messenger.

I know this because I had volunteered to help with concessions at our High School football game. A customer got irate with us because the food portion was not what he expected for the price he was paying (i.e. he wanted more food than he was paying for). I had to look at the angry man through the window and say, ‘I am sorry sir, but I am only a volunteer.’ I was helpless to fix his issue.

A week ago, I watched a customer in a grocery store get angry at a cashier and a bag boy because they were wearing masks. For whatever reason, the customer was irritated and wanted to voice his opinion on the subject. I wanted to reach out and say, ‘hey man, they are only employees and they are just following orders.’

Ever feel like that? You are angry and irritable and you lash out at the closest person even though they have little to do with the situation. It happens to the best of us. But Christians are to strive to be different. We, of all the people on the earth, should be more grace oriented. There are many reasons to feel frustrated in a world filled with sin. But we must be careful in how we express that frustration. Paul says, that is our old self talking and we must put that away. Colossians 3:8 (ESV) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.’ We are to extend grace to others.

This Sunday as we re-gather to worship, it is a time to celebrate the grace we have been given in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is not a time to be expressing your frustrations on whether our greeters are wearing masks, if they should happen to make a mistake and not follow the procedures as outlined, if they are not ‘perfect’ as they welcome you. Like the people leading music, our Sunday School teachers, our children’s workers, they are ‘just’ volunteers. Extend grace to them and cultivate an environment of love and forgiveness. Who knows, that might be the very thing to shed your own frustrations.

Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”