I drove up to a store with my daughter five minutes before it opened. We were in a rush that day so we got there early.
But when it was time to open, the store was still locked. The employee pulled into the parking lot late, and walked toward the store. I asked her if she was opening now, and she said pretty rudely that she wouldn’t open for a while.
I was frustrated, but I stopped myself. My daughter and I talked about how maybe the woman had had a rough morning. How you never know what people are going through. Then, we prayed for her (I don’t always react that way!).
No, it doesn’t give people the right to act any way they want. But, it does make me want to pause and consider that we have no clue what that person is going through and to ask ourselves, Is it better to respond rudely, or to respond with blessing?
These kind of moments are impactful to our children. They notice.
My dad, my hero, has been in the ICU for a month now after getting Covid. He’s one of the strongest people I know. But, it’s been rough. I’m praying Jesus’ healing hand on him and for others going through this.
Some people don’t know what I’m going through right now, but I’m sure I’ve had shorter reactions and been more emotional than normal.
Years ago when I was 29-weeks pregnant, my husband had to go on a short work trip while my mom was visiting. The doctors said it was fine since I wasn’t due for a while. But after he flew out, I went into labor. He had three cancelled flights trying to make it back to me before my emergency C-section at 7:20pm. He finally got on a flight, but at 7:20pm while the flight attendant was asking him if he wanted Biscoff cookies, I was having our triplets. She had no idea.
We just don’t know what’s happening in others’ lives when we come across them.
You’ve had your own times when your heart was bursting within, but people didn’t know what you were going through, and maybe your words came out shorter than normal.
I know it doesn’t mean that people can act any way they want, and I know that some people are rude no matter what they’re going through. But, as Jesus followers, we are called to repay with blessing.
It doesn’t mean that will be our first instinct, but as we pray, the Holy Spirit will move in a powerful way and change our hearts so they become more like His.
That is one way to make change for the Lord, one moment at a time.
Oh, Lord, we confess times we have responded with anger, bitterness, and rudeness before compassion. Please forgive us. Would you move our hearts to care about what you care about? Would you move our hearts and our children’s hearts to pray for others before retaliating? Would you give us the self-control Jesus had, the compassion Jesus had, the love Jesus had, even when people were against him. May we be lights that point straight to you, Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
But the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9