The conversation seems like yesterday, not fifteen years it has been. It was sunny, just after noon, in south Florida. I was out visiting one of our branches. As was my custom, I tried to have a few words with everyone in the branch during my visit. In the middle of a talking with the platform manager a young teller touched my shoulder to interrupt.
“I have a customer who would like to deposit some money with us. I can handle the transaction however he would like to see if we are willing to give him a better rate than what is posted.”
As I introduced myself to the customer I asked a few probing questions. It was hard to know how seriously I should treat an overweight long haired old man in a ratty t-shirt, faded Bermuda shorts, and broken down flip-flops.
His response was direct and to the point.
“Do you know your competitors? Yes? What do you think of…?” he named the young senior executive of a local competitor.
What was I going to say? Our products and services were as competitive as anyone in else in town. The person in question was roughly the same age; we were both married with kids, and lived in similar communities.
“It is easy for you to see that we are both about the same age. Both of us think the other is slightly more arrogant! I’m honestly not sure who is right.”
He laughed and asked what I could do on the rates. Moments latter I had an additional five million dollars sitting in our checking accounts.
Comparing people against others is nothing knew. The question was and is “are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?” (John 4.12) We often challenge the social ladder and our place, forgetting God sees as all as equal.
You are special to God. Do you understand just how precious we are? Not just you or me; everyone.