Whose Words Really Matter?

I recently started a part-time job. I now work the counter at a local bakery in East Islip. I got this job for a couple of reasons. First, working there is a great way to meet people in the community. I now have about 15 co-workers with whom I am building relationships. Dozens of customers come in each day that I have chances to meet. I am praying that God uses the conversations for his glory. The second reason I got the job was to earn some money. Our income every month doesn’t always cover our expenses so another source of income was needed.

I have worked for a couple of weeks now and am learning all the “ins and outs” of the job. Like any new job, there is a learning curve. I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of rolls! Here is the interesting thing…I am a bit of a trailblazer. I am the first male that has been hired to work the counter. Previously, all the men worked in the back as bakers and all the people who worked at the front counter have been female. In my short tenure, here are some of the things people have said to me.

“You are the ugliest counter girl I have ever seen.” (I took that one as a compliment.)

“With all these cute girls working the counter, why would I want you to wait on me?”

And my favorite from last Saturday, “You will never last.”

I don’t let those comments bother too much but there are times when people’s words do hurt. I certainly have been one who has made cutting comments to people more often than I would like to admit. With all the negative voices that we hear, it is easy to forget who we really are and how precious we are. Here is what God says about me.

I am made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am loved unconditionally. (John 3:16-17)

I can trust God to finish his work in me. (Philippians 1:6)

Through Jesus’ work on the cross, God has made me righteous. He has made me clean. He has made me completely worthy.

I am learning a new job. I don’t yet know what is in all the turnovers and danishes. I don’t know what kind of cake is under all the different chocolate frostings. I know I am slow since I can’t always find the right button to push on the cash register. I can’t remember what the prices are for all the different donuts.

I will get faster and more comfortable the more shifts I work and customers will get more comfortable with me – although I expect I will always have to take a certain amount of flack. But that’s okay because my worth and value are not determined by the kind of job I have or how well I do my job or what other people think about me. As I once heard Tim Keller say:

“I am unconditionally loved by the only One whose opinion and authority really matter.”

So are you.

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