A Really Swell Georgetown Real Estate Agent? Or Just Blowing Trumpets?

As a fairly new real estate agent in Georgetown Texas, I’m always checking out other real estate websites to get ideas on how to improve my own business. About a month ago, I saw a website that featured the agent who owned it and it had a picture of him volunteering on the construction of a home.

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Man, that looked so cool! Here was a real estate agent, getting his “hands dirty” with some good ‘ole fashioned volunteer work. What a neat way to show current and prospective clients that he wasn’t just in the business for the money, but willing to give back to his profession!

Ever since then I’ve been wanting to do the same thing. I could picture myself taking a missions trip down to Mexico and getting a nice shot of me with a hammer in my hand. I could then showcase that on my website and get some positive publicity! Maybe even show people the “more personal” side of Edward Lui.

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Well, my bible study group at Hill Country Bible Church in Georgetown, Texas has recently been studying the Sermon on the Mount. It has got to be the greatest sermon ever preached and Jesus uses it to blow the Pharisee’s interpretation of God’s law out of the water and teach us the heart of what God really wants. I started reading the lesson for next week this morning:

Be careful not to do your “acts of righteousness” before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:1-4

Woah, wait a minute here! This is exactly what I was guilty of! Jesus obviously uses hyperbole when he talks about not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, but the point is that we need to be conscious of our motives for doing “good.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with volunteering and helping out. But I think we all need a heart check once in a while to make sure that we’re doing these things for God and not for the praises of men (or clients!). Because if we do, our reward is already given. I love it how Jesus unashamedly motivates us to do good for the rewards we will get in heaven. This has nothing to do with earning your salvation, but everything to do with motivating the Christ-follower to do good.

This is a tough teaching. As a leader on my church’s Missions Team we have discussed advertising our accomplishments in Mexico to the community to generate buzz and interest in our church. Now I’m wondering if that’s the right approach. There certainly is nothing wrong with advertising an upcoming mission trip to the community to gain support, but is that the same thing as posting what we have already done? Are we just blowing our trumpets? Even if the goal is to increase membership and interest in the church, do the means justify the end?

My “pharisee tendencies” have indeed been challenged by the power of God’s Word. What about you? Am I taking this a bit over the top? I’m certainly not advocating going to your next soup kitchen with a bag over your head, but the next time you “advertise” the fact that you’ve done or are doing volunteer work, remember this verse and give yourself a heart check…and start stocking up the rewards in heaven.

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Comments

  1. Amen brother. This is something I have to remind myself of every day. I think Henri Nouwen hits that point home in “In the Name of Jesus”. One of the big thoughts of his book is to pursue the desire to be irrelevant, or resist the temptation to be relevant in the eyes of man.

    Our human nature says we should be important and do important things so that we can “be great”. Rather our hearts desire should be to “do good”.

  2. Alexander Harb says:

    GREAT post…… doing good to GET something in front of men and/or recieving money and/or material things from it is Not the BEST way to do things………the bible is clear on that….

    That is why we have a group in [Active Rain],”Christianity and Real Estate” called….”Giving to Those in Need”

    It is a group where EVEN the members do not know each other…… I am the only one who knows everyone who is in it….

    And we give time and money to THOSE WHO CANNOT PAY US BACK……. our reward comes from the Lord……….ONLY……….

    Care to join in? Let me know…..

    =-)

  3. Edward, it can be a tough line to walk, but i’ve found the most blessings come when you do things with absolutely no thought of yourself.

  4. Alexander Harb says:

    Edward…here is a link to a post on the group….

    Giving to Those in Need……. ‘Christianity and Real Estate’

    I am looking forward to seeing you come aboard…..

    O/

  5. Dan Brudnok says:

    Ed,

    I do not think it is showing off or worse when we let others know of the works we are “involved” in…..I believe that it just brings another light to the important project……and isn’t that what the Lord wants, us to lead others to those who need us more?

  6. Your favorite HOMEboy says:

    Well, I can absolutely agree. That is why in the exact same sermon, Jesus talks about letting our light shine before men so they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven (paraphrase). It seems odd at first why he would tell us to let our lights shine (and tell us to be salt and light) and then later tell us to not to do our good works before men.

    I think this can be explained by understanding that what Jesus is doing in this part of his sermon is giving us some common pitfalls of the Christian life. These are some top things he talks about (beginning with giving to the needy) that we need to be cautious of. Things that can trip us up. I certainly believe that we are to be salt and light, but what I’m guilty of and need to be “gut checking” myself for is that I am doing that for the right motives, for the praises of God and not men. For the attention and rewards of God and not men. And for God’s glory and not my own.

  7. Though I’m no Bible scholar, I believe what Jesus meant when telling us to “let our light shine” is direct correlation to the great commission. As Christians we are charged to be sharing our faith in every area of our life. The mission field is everywhere. If you are a “missionary” in China then that is your mission field. But if you are a real estate agent in Georgetown, Texas or a consultant in Santa Barbara, California then that is your mission field. Your mission field may be in the cubicle next to you at work.

    In sharing our faith I mean both by verbally telling others about Jesus Christ, but also by sharing our faith through acts of kindness and love. Quoting scripture to someone may not be the best way to share your beliefs. Rather just meeting their needs as they show them, with no conversation about why. Jesus above all others was the perfect example of the servant leader; washing the feet of those that looked to Him as greater than they.

    I often (ready every day) need to gut check myself in asking, “Why am I doing this?” If my motive is praise, acknowledgment, and relevancy then I’m in the wrong place.

    Great post!

  8. Your favorite HOMEboy says:

    Kevin – man, good words my brother and the book by Nouwen looks like a good read. I checked out some of the reviews on Amazon. So when are you going to get down to Georgetown and help me win this mission field for Christ?:)

  9. A great community project is to assist the elderly still living in there homes but unable to do home maintenance projects any longer. I read a blog one day and they set one weekend aside each year and are helping 25 homes with a community effort. They go in and fix what needs fixing and weather proof home as much as possible. What a great idea!

  10. Your favorite HOMEboy says:

    Aswin, neat idea. Thanks for reading my blog, you have a great website and bring new meaning to the word “luxury!” Our custom/estate homes in Texas don’t even come close to approaching those prices in Florida!

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