Monday, February 21, 2011

A Million Dollar Mistake

The following article was written by Larry D. Black.

John Barrier pulled his pickup truck into the U.S. Bank of Washington parking lot in Spokane. Dressed in his usual shabby clothes he paid a quick visit to his broker, cashed a check at the bank, and went outside to drive away. The parking lot attendant informed Barrier there was a 60 cent parking fee, but parking was free if he could get the ticket stamped by someone in the bank. Barrier had been a customer for thirty years so he ran inside to get the ticket validated.  Inside the teller took one look at Barrier's grubby clothes and refused to stamp the ticket. She said the bank only validated tickets when a customer made a transaction, and cashing a check was not one. After talking with a bank manager, Barrier was again refused. So he politely said, "Fine. You don't need me, and I don't need you." He then withdrew all his money - a million dollars - and took it down the street to another bank!

The Hebrews epistle says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels" (Hebrews 13:2). Nearly every time the church assembles visitors are present. How do we receive them? Do we show respect for some and ignore others? Let me suggest that you read the first few verses of James 2.  Do we go out of our way to make visitors feel welcome and wanted? If not, they may, as John Barrier, say, "Fine. You don't need me, and I don't need you," and as he did, they may withdraw and go down the street. For the church, such a loss will always be more than a million dollars, because a soul is at stake (Matthew 16.26).

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