#RaceTogether

Not everyone has a strong opinion on this.  And those who do seem to clearly be in one of two ‘general’ camps on Twitter.

1)  “Starbucks is in the coffee business, so stick to coffee and stop trying to force your agenda on society.”  Note: many tweeting this sentiment hate coffee anyway.

2)  “Good for them.  This is a topic we need to be openly discussing more in America.  It’s going to take a little discomfort to develop healthier diversity in our country.”

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My cup today

Personally, I find myself in a third group on the issue.  And it really begs a BIGGER question:

“Is Starbucks or Social Media really the best place to

have this discussion?”

I would suggest the answer is NO!  And here’s why I say that.

Churches in America should be having this talk.  They should be the ones initiating the discussion, both within their congregations and in their local communities.  This is a leadership issue.  Can it get messy and uncomfortable?  Yes.  Will the result be circles of hugs and everyone singing Kumbaya?  Not likely.

If you’re a church leader, please hear this.  Of all the places to talk about race, ethnicity and nationality…the Church should be the safest and most authentic place to do this.  If it isn’t then I would suggest that we have some work to do in the areas of integrity and character.

I’ll end with this.

As I write this I’m sitting in a Starbucks located in the deep South.  I have seen Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, and Asians all gathering for coffee and community.  And you know what?  We all seemed to get along just fine.

Why shouldn’t we try to cultivate a similar environment in our churches?  We should be able to worship, serve, and learn together.  Why is this not very common?

I could really care less about Starbucks starting the recent hashtag trend.  It will fade away eventually.  But the Church would be wise to adopt the discussion as a normal and healthy part of growing together in the family of God.

 

Please leave a comment below.  Who’s doing this well and what can we learn from them?

Lady, You’re Holding Up The Line!

long line for coffee

You’re a coffee snob, and it’s affecting your attitude.

Standing in line to order my coffee at the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble, the following conversation takes place right in front of me:

Barista:  May I help you?

Customer:  Yes…um…what drink did that person order?

Barista:  I don’t know.  Hey (to the other barista), what drink did you make that customer?

Other Barista:  Oh, I think it was a vanilla frapp with whip.

Customer:  Yes, I’ll have that! 

Done in 60 seconds, but I found myself becoming quite impatient with this woman’s apparent lack of espresso knowledge & inability to know her order before she steps up to the counter.  As growing thoughts of (almost) rage quickly permeated my being, I had a startling realization.  “I’ve officially become a coffee snob!”  

2 Corinthians 6:6 then hit be between the eyes…  ‘We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.’  I want to be proven faithful to God by my patience…especially in small moments like these.  My character was not discounted by any outward display of rude behavior, but my heart was. 

Deal with it:

1. Recognize and address the emotions that are going through your mind.

2. Empathize with the person annoying you.  Put yourself in their situation.

3. Redirect your ‘reactions’ into doing something helpful in the moment.

What situations challenge your character?  Comment below.

Photo credit: susanotcenas.blogspot.com