Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Aim Higher by Stooping Lower

Wendys Dave ThomasThe late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s hamburger chain was known for his humble service within the multi-billion dollar empire he founded. When asked what made him so successful; he replied, "my MBA." But he didn’t mean a graduate degree in business administration, he meant "a mop- and-bucket attitude." In other words, no work task was too insignificant for him to tackle; he simply jumped in and got the job done.

Dave Thomas, was a high-school dropout, he was always ashamed of that and it would have been easy for him as he tasted success to demand every perk and privilege as a way of covering for his own inadequacies, but instead He lived by the creed of the Mop Bucket Attitude. In fact, Dave Thomas’ picture in the corporate annual report shows him wielding a mop and a plastic bucket. That wasn’t a gag either, it was done intentionally so that he could lead by example. Dave Thomas showed that service at the lowest levels makes for great success.

Jesus displayed a mop-and-bucket attitude as well. He said, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45).

One example of His servant attitude is the night of His betrayal. He was sharng the Passover feast with His disciples. He got up from the meal, laid aside His garments, took a basin of water and a towel, and began to wash His disciple’s feet.

In those days they only wore sandals--feet would get dirty from walking around all day on the dusty roads. Common practice in every Jewish home to have a basin of water and towel ready at the door to clean the dust off their feet. This was a sign of respect from the host to the guests.

The host would have never washed the guests’ feet himself, this was a task for a servant, not a master. It was a job that was so looked down upon that many times the Jewish slaves were not even required to do it-it was a task that was reserved for the Gentile slaves.

Yet here is Jesus, getting down to wash the disciple's feet because they wouldn't do it for each other. Jesus is telling us that our importance is not in some position we hold, or in some title or degree--it's in service.

Jesus, was the Lord of the Universe. If anyone didn’t have to humble Himself to wash the feet of farmers and fishermen, He didn’t. But because He knew He was Lord of the Universe, Because He knew He was not diminished by showing His love in humble service, He took up the towel and basin and stooped to serve.

That evening, Jesus washed 24 stinky feet and 12 proud hearts.

How are you aiming higher by stooping lower?


  1. Instead of trying to lead everyone all the time, I am trying to serve them and learn from them instead. It doesn't matter if they are a Christian or not. I ask God to let me serve them and let me learn.

  2. Kevin,
    Sometimes it is a struggle for us to step off the stage, get on our knees, and pick up the basin and towel. It is not always the easy way--But it is Jesus' way.

  3. I love to cook so I have helped prepare several meals for the church this past year. I have done most of the cooking and recruited a few to help serve. Not only do I get to serve but I get to do something that I really enjoy.

  4. Larry, Literally serving others is a great way to remind us of what we are about as Christians. "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many." --Richard


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this post.