Garrett Grubbs, the Youth Minister at Sherwood Baptist Church, said something in a recent sermon that has me rethinking about almost everything in my life. Before you jump off the page, this quote has non-religious applications as well if you’ll read on for a moment.
Now, Pastor Garrett was talking about prayer when he said this, but it can apply to so many things. He said something like,
“You need to ask yourself if you’re wearing a bib or an apron when you pray.”
So, in other words, are you looking to get something (be fed and wear the bib) or to serve God (wear the apron.)
But this “big and apron” metaphor applies to everything. Let’s put this in another context.
Your Job. When you’re approaching your job, are you wearing a bib or an apron? Are you coming to your job for what you can get out of it? Money. Prestige. Power. Or are you looking at your job for what you can give to others? Service. Legacy. An example of excellence. Relating to and knowing others?
Relationships. When you’re approaching another person are you wearing a bib or an apron?
Now, let’s park here for a moment. Amazing people are everywhere. More than once I’ve been drawn into a conversation with a fascinating person at a conference or via email. And then, shortly, they’ll let it slip. They want something. Free promotion. Sharing on social media. For me to blog about them. These folks are wearing bibs.
And perhaps I’m wearing a bib too. However, to so quickly find out a person has an ulterior motive can be disheartening. If somebody puts on a bib too fast, it makes you wonder if the apron was just a charade.
Once I heard a person talk about relationships like a gas tank. You’re either filling the tank (wearing an apron) or causing the person to expend energy on you (bib.) If you use too much of their energy without putting anything back, people will eventually no longer want to be around you.
So, the bib and apron holds true here as well.
Social Media. I think social media is separate from relationships. We need to be the kind of people that make social media a better place. Some people wear bibs – they just want attention. They want likes. They want people to talk about their topic.
But you can wear an apron as well. You can go on social media and decide you want to offer genuine encouragement to five people tonight. You can decide you want to share something positive that will encourage others every single day.
You can use social media for what you get out of it (bib) or make the world a better place (apron.)
And so it goes on.
I agree with Garrett, though, the people who wear aprons as a habit tend to be the kinds of people who leave a legacy and make a difference in the world.
For when we serve others, we think less about ourselves and often live a happier, more exciting life. (And if you don’t believe me, listen to today’s show about Compassionate Achievers and the neuroscience behind compassion and empathy.)