Recently, I went into a pharmacy to pick up a few things and was once again reminded of the lack of professionalism found in many Big Brand Stores. Checking out at the register, I was neither greeted with the standard “Hello”, “How are you today?”, or “Did you find everything alright?”. After my change was given, the cashier handed me my receipt without the courtesy of either a simple “Thank you” or “Have a good day.” I don’t know about you, but I always thought the customer was king. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t my shopping in his place of employment ensure his paycheck? Shouldn’t that make him grateful that I came in to do business? Doesn’t that warrant a sincere gesture of gratitude, however small it might be? Or  am I overreacting? Am I just being self-centered, asking for more than I feel I deserve? Should I just stay quiet and be happy the store was there to service my needs? Have we come so far that to expect any kind of courtesy, professionalism or customer service is expecting too much? Is the store there for me or am I here for the store?

If I were a betting man, I would wager that every person reading this empathized with me to some degree. We have all been annoyed by either a lack of, or at the very least, poor customer service. It is right to expect professional courtesy in a country where the consumer has many choices. I walked out of that store determined I was not going to do business with them again. I can afford not to since there are a host of other pharmacies in the area.

But professionalism and courtesy should not be limited or restricted to a place of business. As a child of God, I am a living, breathing, walking, talking representative of Jesus Christ and Christianity. If I want people to “buy into” Christianity, then I must display the character traits of Christ. I must live in a manner that is consistent with biblical Christianity. I know that some people don’t like to use the term “marketing” when it comes to Christianity, but like it or not, we are walking billboards for Christ. Paul said we are living letters, read of all men. Every person is a spiritual consumer, looking for their needs to be met. They will go somewhere or to someone to fulfill that need. We can’t afford to offer poor or non-existent “customer service” when it comes to Christianity. We get but one opportunity to make a good first impression. Are we making it count? What does my customer service say about Christianity? Am I saying by my actions, “You are here for me”, or am I saying, “I am here for you.”? Let’s give folks a reason to come back.