Dying on the Small Hills

Dying on the Small Hills - keeps you there



Last night my wife and I ate at a local restaurant. We ordered an item that appeared to be one of the advertised specials. When I was presented with the bill, the item was at the regular price. I spoke with the waitress about my bill and what I thought was a "special." Se said that she did not know that their advertisement could be confusing but would ask the manager.

The manager came out and I presented my case saying that the advertised special was confusing and that I ordered the item thinking it was in the special. (The total difference in the amount was $4.00, but I had in mind an amount we wanted to spend and the $4 was going into the tip.) Instead of apologizing for the misunderstanding and adjusting my bill, the manager chose to "die" on his $4 hill and keep the bill the same thus alienating me, my wife and causing me to have a poor opinion of that restaurant.


Instead of using the opportunity to build customer relationships and have a win story that I would tell others, he chose to stand his position, alienate me and create ill-will. I will think twice about going to that restaurant again even though the food was fine. The issue was not the food but the relationship and experience I had.


In our life, we tend to focus on the big things (the quality of food) and let the little things slide (the experience we give others.). Unfortunately, it is in the little things that build or destroy relationships. It is the little things that create customer loyalty,i.e. raving fans or very disgruntled customers (who write about you in their newsletter.) (But I must look in the mirror too. Using the restaurant experience also challenges me to ask "Am I willing to let $4 keep from going back if I really like the place and it's food?" In my response, I can be petty too and die on that hill.)


The little things show up in so many places. Does your spouse irritate you in some small thing and you blow up at him or her or do you just "let it slide?" Do you get mad at your kids and give them a punishment out of proportion to what they have done because it irritated you? Do you ever take a position with someone at home or work that you are "right" and they are "wrong" no matter how small the issue is?


All of these examples are dying on the little hills. We tend to die on these hills which buries chances to build relationship, overcome obstacles and move on. Too many times people plateau in a relationship or even in sales because they neglect or place too much emphasis on the wrong small stuff. They die on the small hill for their sake (not the other person's) or neglect the little details that people notice and that make a relationship bloom.


Do you return phone calls when you say you will? Do you communicate with your spouse that you will be late for dinner? Are you always late? Can people trust you to do what you say, even if it is something small? Do you return or repay things that you borrowed without being asked?


People don't realize that to get to the big stuff in life, the mountains, they must learn to not die on the small hills. (The small hills are the little things that other people value but you don't or vice versa.) They need to pay attention to the little details, whether it is always being "right" or just giving that extra little customer service in your business. It is having a happy voice when you answer the phone or just greeting someone with a warm friendly smile and "good morning" each day.


Unfortunately, when you are immovable on the little things, they add up to be a big thing. That is what causes problems with parents and kids or among marriages. Are you a boss who makes little promises but does not keep them and then you find people quitting? Are you losing customers and you can't figure out why? It is probably over the small stuff.


Is your spouse mad at you? It is probably an accumulation of small things that you were willing to die on (always get your way) instead of just one big thing. Most parental relationships are either made or lost, not in the teen years, but actually in years 3-10; the little consistent practices build or destroy relationship during that time frame. By the time they are teenagers, you are just reaping the practices of the little things.


Are you a person of your word with your kids? Do you blow up at them? Do you spend too much time on YOUR little things neglecting your relationships with your spouse, children, employees, co-workers or clients?


Give your life a check up today. Typically dying on the small hills, being immovable, is a sign of insecurity or an inflated ego. Both are destructive to lasting relationships.



FAITH


Song of Solomon 2:15

"Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom."


Solomon is warning us about the "foxes," those little things that we tend to die on and how they will ruin the whole relationship. The vineyards are relationships that are growing, blooming into something meaningful.


If you are not willing to focus on blooming a relationship, then you will, by default, allow foxes to ruin the vineyard.


The things that you are not willing to change, are they because it is a moral issue or just inconvenient and you will make your spouse, co-worker or children just endure?


Do you have to always be right? Do you forget things and think "Oh, it really doesn't matter?"


Do you always have to have the last word? Do you show your parents, wife, boss, co-workers or friends a disrespectful attitude when you don't get your way such as rolling your eyes or flipping your head? Do you ever disrespectfully say "Whatever?" to get the last jab in?


The foxes are the little things that we die on to have our way. When we die on these, we never get to the real mountain where the views are beautiful, relationships bloom and the vineyard produces an abundant harvest.


If you are guilty of foxes, repent today. Ask forgiveness of the people you have offended. Specifically mention the things you have done and how they have offended the other person. You need to specifically repent, not just "I offended you, I'm sorry." Repenting requires you to focus on how you offended the other person, not about how you are sorry. It requires you to work on changing you, not them.

The blessings of repentance is that relationship is restored. You don't have to be perfect to repent. If you have Christ, he knows your heart and loves you anyway. God's grace (his unmerited love) enables us to repent and rely on Him to change us. But, first you must ask.

 

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