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Small things done consistently well

Small things done consistently well

Small things done consistently well

2 January 2020

Janine and Robert Donaldson talk about respect.


By Janine and Robert Donaldson

When we have time to ourselves there is nothing better than sitting together and enjoying a good coffee. For Janine, it is a choice between a latte, cappuccino or an occasional chai latte. For Robert, it is always, and only, a decaf long black. With the first sip comes the realisation of whether it is a ‘good coffee’.

There are so many small elements that contribute to making a good coffee: the quality of the soil in which the coffee plant is grown, the weather conditions that affect its growth, when and how the coffee beans are harvested, how the coffee beans are dried, processed, roasted and blended, then there’s the grinding, packaging, delivery time and so on ... until a barista actually makes the coffee to be enjoyed.

So, a ‘good coffee’ is the result of a series of small things done consistently well.

Like the preparation of a good coffee, being a respectful person or organisation is achieved by a series of small things done consistently well.

Often when we explore ‘respect’ as a personal or organisational value, we come across lofty ideals and aspirations, such as: all people are created in the image of God, or everyone has innate value, or everyone has gifts and abilities, or affirmation of the worth and capacity of all people. These lofty ideals and aspirations are good and true, but what do they boil down to in everyday life? We would suggest that respect is a series of small things done consistently well.

Respect is saying thank you to the waiting staff who remove your empty coffee cup. Respect is listening well and not interrupting. Respect is allowing someone else to go first. Respect is treating people equally. Respect is appreciating differing points of view by asking questions rather than arguing our point of view. Respect is agreeing to disagree without suggesting that the other person is wrong. Respect is pushing your chair in when you leave the table. Respect is valuing every contribution, big or small. Respect is listening, affirming, serving, being kind, being polite and being thankful.

Consider some of these Bible verses (NLT):
• “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
• “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching” (Titus 2:7).
• “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).
• “Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness and honour” (Proverbs 21:21).
• “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring each other” (Romans 12:10).

• “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6:31).
• “Show respect to all men. Love the Christians. Honour God with love and fear. Respect the head leader of the country” (1 Peter 2:17).
• “I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved”
(1 Corinthians 10:33).

Doing small things consistently well will ensure that together we become a respectful Salvation Army. Thanks for playing your part.

God bless.


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