Bidding on eBay auctions is a newer experience for me. For years I’ve bought on eBay when there is a “buy it now” option, but I’ve avoided the auctions. It’s so easy for auctions to become emotional, and then to spend more than intended. In the past year, though, I have started bidding on the auctions. Most recently, I’m looking at auctions for coins. I have worked out a technique where I only bid once at the very end of the auction. My bid is determined by research, and what I’m willing to pay. My daughter said I’m becoming an eBay “shark”. I tend to be a bargain hunter, which means I lose a lot of the auctions. Some, though, I win. My practice is to pay as soon as I win (I’m usually watching as the auction closes).
On one auction the seller wrote they reserve the right not to sell to anyone who has less than ten reviews. My first thought was “Do I have ten reviews?”. To be honest, I hadn’t realized the sellers were reviewing the buyers. I knew the sellers could be reviewed, though I wasn’t good about doing this. This is when I started wondering about the colored stars next to names. There is a number next to the star. For the sellers, I thought the number represented how many sales they made on eBay. It turns out it is the number of positive reviews they have received in the past twelve months. A negative review subtracts one number, and a neutral review makes no changes. The number of reviews determines the color of the star. The same system applies to buyers. It takes ten positive reviews to get your first star (yellow). The goal is to have one hundred percent positive reviews.
When I looked, I already had a yellow star. It was fun to read all of the reviews about what kind of buyer I am. Sellers are more likely to leave a review when the seller gives them a review. I now always leave reviews! I was happy to see my yellow star change to a blue star. I have been wondering what it would be like if each of us were rated every day by the people around us on what kind of people we are. How many of us would have one hundred percent positive reviews? What kind of comments would be written? I’m not confident I would have a one hundred percent positive review. I’m hopeful my numbers, though, would be high.
Even without an “official” system, people are evaluating (yes, judging) us. I don’t believe we can control what other people think of us, and I freely admit people are not always fair. I do believe our character matters, and we should attempt to live to the highest standards. Our Christian witness is highly impacted by our character and actions. Even when we say the right words, people are suspicious of our motives. Our actions need to be consistent with our words. Even when we are tired, frustrated, hungry, grumpy, running late, in a hurry, worried, have a flat tire, and feel sick (this is hypothetical, not the way I’m currently feeling). Other people don’t know what is happening in our lives. They do know how we have treated them. The greatest goal I know of is to live our lives as much like Jesus’ life as possible. Reaching for this goal impacts our lives as much (or more?) as the lives of others.
Growing to be more like Jesus doesn’t just happen. It takes intentionality and work. It can be good to review ourselves; and it might be helpful to hear what other people have to say. The most important source, though, is to ask for God’s input and help. It’s never too late to grow more like Christ!
Your brother on the journey, Mark
Further thoughts: Sunday morning at church I was told I have the “retirement glow”. Is there such a thing? Another person said I’m looking ten years younger. Then they put on their glasses…