I was in a parking lot today and watched the drivers from two cars get in a honking battle. They concluded their exchanges with middle fingers, yelling and mean looks. I would suspect that perhaps these drivers have different sides to their personalities, such that they don’t go through their lives everyday with expletives, middle fingers and combative behaviors.
Just because someone is hostile or cranky with us doesn’t mean that we have to repay the same acrimony. Indeed, such moments are opportunities to do a quick heart check on ourselves and choose better. Furthermore, we can go the extra mile & look for constructive ways to bring out the best in people. Here are some suggestions for your consideration:
encouragement, gratitude and polite words make a comfortable runway for others to be gracious
a soft answer turns away wrath – Prov 15;1
forgiveness is a decision to reflect God’s DNA in us, since we are liberally forgiven even more than we realize
what a person “deserves” is best left in God’s hands, since we are commanded by Jesus not to judge in Matt 7:1
Let’s endeavor to bring out the best throughout our daily exchanges!
I like to pray because in my mind, praying is simply conversing with God. Prayer is a dialogue between God & me, not just a monologue shopping list. From time to time, however, I sense God challenging me to make known my requests & not just stay in the listening mode. Over time, I’m learning to take very seriously what these requests can be for the simple reason that God answers our prayers.
Consider these weighty requests:
Patience – when we ask God to help us be more patient, often the resulting journey to that destination can be tumultuous
Trust – help me trust You more / better; the places in our lives that need this work can get very uncomfortable from the Holy Spirit answering this request
Love – I’ve asked God to help me love better & despite some hotspots, the results are worth the risks
It’s not bad to make weighty prayers, but let’s be prepared to make the changes such prayers require.
On my last day of snowboarding this season, I took a really hard fall, landed on my head & sustained a concussion. A concussion is an injury to the brain & I’m learning that the brain recovers at its own pace, regardless of my impatience. Of course I’m praying & trusting God for my recovery. In the meantime, I find myself more sympathetic & compassionate toward people, even when I don’t know why they might be acting poorly. Something inside me (most likely the Holy Spirit) tells me to be gracious because I likely don’t understand what’s happening in that person’s life. Same goes for me in this concussion recovery: I can look my normal self, but truth be known, I’m struggling with energy & sometimes my thoughts are fuzzy.
Many times I find that we are compassionate most often when we learn about a struggle a person might be going through. I would like be compassionate without a reason but because that’s who I am, a reflection of our compassionate Heavenly Father.
i was flying somewhere & observed some person get really upset w a flight attendant & chew out the attendant.
i was at starbux & saw a person blow off the barista making their beverage
In both of these instances, i was perplexed. Why would you take out the frustrations of your day on the person responsible for your safety & well being while flying on an airplane? What good would be accomplished by making a flight attendant angry w you? Furthermore, why would you dismiss or ignore the person making a drink that you will be consuming?
Why do we let out or frustrations on someone who is serving us? Even if they get something wrong or make a mistake, why wouldn’t we extend some of the abundant grace that we’ve received? Aside from what Jesus tells us to be kind & loving, its just good common sense to think twice & be nice, even if you’re feeling a bit stressed out. 🙂