There are people who have impacted my life simply because they have gone above and beyond their duty. They are ordinary people whose humble service and love for others have impressed me more than anything fame, money, or position could do. The Fred Factor calls these kinds of people Freds, after a postal serviceman who went far beyond the ordinary to excellence.
Freds I’ve Met
I met Freds in an oil changing shop one afternoon. I was given a flower, had the car door held open for me, and was treated like a princess. I’m sure those Freds had no idea how profoundly impacted I was by their kindness. I cried all the way home because life hadn’t been treating me like a lady then. I met Freds at church. Two of them invited me into their home to share a delicious homemade lunch many Sundays when I was in college. The gentleman in this home handled all of my car repairs for me, making sure that he either paid for them himself or got me the absolute best price possible. Another couple of Freds invited me into their home to live when my college roommate situation wasn’t working out. I meet Freds all the time. I have a waitress who helps my children cut up their food. I have homeschool friends who come to my home for co-op who clean without being asked and jump in to help with projects that have nothing to do with homeschooling. A homeschool author read So You’re Not Wonder Womanand started promoting it on her website.
The Fred I Want to Be
I want to be someone else’s Fred. Why? Because it’s the true measure of greatness. Say Good-bye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes calls being a Fred ‘honor.’ It’s doing more than what’s expected. The Bible calls being a Fred a servant.
The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)
I realized in reading the Fred Factor that I rarely seek to be a Fred in my own home. That needs to change. I can have the greatest impact with the people I love most. That means that I am not just getting by or doing the quickest, easiest thing. It means I am giving my best for the service of my family and the glory of God.
The Freds I Want My Children to Be
Talk with your children about the Freds you’ve met. Tell them what a great impact they have had on you. Read the Scripture about what it means to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Then discuss what they could do to be Freds in your family, in your church, and your world.