Who’s On Your Do-Not-Serve List?

There is that customer who never paid me the $1,000 worth of products I sold him back when I was in the distribution business. He is on my “do-not-serve” list.

I can think of two previous cohorts from my past who are on my “do-not-serve” list. One was a quart low on integrity. The other cohort was very emotionally unintelligent.

There are two or three clients-from-hell that had expectations beyond my control, who did not pay their invoices. They are on my “do-not-serve” list.

There are those who use micro aggression excessively (behaviors or statements that do not necessarily reflect malicious intent but which nevertheless can inflict insult or injury), who are on my “do-not-serve” list. They say things like:

“People pay you to play games with them?!” 
“You know your gay daughter is going to hell, don’t you?”   
“Why would you move to a state that is so politically backward?” 
“You ‘left wingers’ refuse to look at the good things that have taken place.”

I, too, have sometimes been micro aggressive without ill intent. I do not mind nor am I offended when someone points out that poor behavior. After all, I am a work in progress.

There are those people who unfriended me on Facebook who put me on their “do-not-serve” list because I did not meet or agree with their political or religious ideology. I think one of them called me unpatriotic and another said I would be spending eternity in hell.

Now that I think about it, there is that one “friend” who is a poor tipper at restaurants who is on my “do-not-serve” list.

Serving the ignorant, apathetic, the uncompassionate, the selfish, is tough. When the do-do hits the fan, competency, compassion and humility go out the window. Self-contol is lost and the need for self-control is essential.

Let’s face it, our reputation is connected to our relationships with others. I sneeze, you catch my cold and vice versa. I have experienced this first hand with my blog posts. When egos get in the way, it’s an “I” for an “I.”

I remember one time I was confronted by a conservative Christian cohort asking if he’d seen me walk into a Unitarian fellowship the previous Sunday. This was true. (He was unaware I had also attended worship at a Christian church earlier in the morning!) I was given a stern warning that I was falling into the den of the devil! It seems some conservative Christians are slower to disassociate with unethical, greedy, misogynistic, egocentric political/social figures and quicker to disassociate with fellow compassionate, humble, just believers!

The fruit of Silence is Prayer. The fruit of Prayer is Faith. The fruit of Faith is Love. The fruit of Love is Service. The fruit of Service is Peace. – Mother Teresa

Jackson Wu asks a powerful question in his April 19, 2017 Patheos post.

“How intentional are we when it comes to protecting our reputation and maintaining certain relationships?”

Remember that popular question several years ago, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)? At that last supper Christ shared with his disciples, He grabbed a towel and washed His followers’ feet. A servant’s job, not a leader’s job!

Christ’s radical inclusion, radical hospitality, agenda-free relationships and service to the marginalized first, leaves me in the dust. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got work to do!

How often do we get sucked into counting losses as wins? Some say if you don’t win the final championship game, the season was a failure. When we do this, we are focused on success, gain, status, rather than significance and the difference we make in other people’s lives. We need to need those who are different from us. Being significant requires doing away with our “do-not-serve” list. I’d like that to be a part of my legacy. How about you?