We have all been there before. We get into situations that make us upset and we want to fly off the handle.
This past weekend, I was in Target and I needed to buy something that I could not find on the shelf. (A new stick on bra in case you’re wondering!) Well, they had some on the shelf, just not in my size. So I politely ask an employee if she could check in the back for me to see if they had any in my size. The employee, annoyed that I even asked, says “We don’t have any more of those in the back, they are all out on the shelf.” While that could have been true, I got the vibe that she just didn’t want to help me because she seemed annoyed. I then go and ask another employee if she could check for me and she was so helpful! She goes to the back and finds one for me in my size and brings it back. I smiled and told her how much I appreciated her taking the time to look for me. It is hard to come across patience and good customer service these days, therefore when I see it, I’m always sure to let them know how much it is appreciated!
Because I am imperfect, it was frustrating to me that an employee did not want to help me. I wanted to take offense to it and say what I thought but, honestly what would that have solved? NOTHING!
This is just an example. There are many, many, many scenarios in life when we have to choose how we react to things.
“Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.” Proverbs 10:19-20
My tongue can get me in trouble all of the time if I am not careful. Not just by my reactions to people when I am frustrated but also through gossip. I don’t know what it is about human nature that can drive gossip. Sometimes, I can be hanging out with my girlfriends casually talking and before I know it, I have said some mean things about others. I don’t even really know what I’m saying, I just start talking and my opinionated self can sometimes take over.
The tongue is very powerful. I think we can overcome what flows off our tongue by remembering to always see the best in people. We have to remember to do this in situations when we are frustrated, for example: in Target, the employee could be dealing with a lot in her personal life, she could have had a bad morning, etc. and I need to look past the fact that she did not want to help me. We also have to remember to see the best in people when we are just chit chatting with others. I mean, I’m not perfect and there are certainly things that people could say about me so I shouldn’t say things about other people.
I’m not saying that everyone’s behavior should be excused all of the time but if people do not know Jesus, then how should we expect them to behave anyway? God uses us to be a light for Him and show others his kindness and grace through our actions. God is always testing us too and if he forgives all of our wrongs, then we should be able to do the same!
This is an area that I am always striving to improve in. Before I say something that I regret, I need to stop and ask myself the same question that I ask my 4 & 5 year olds at school, “am I saying this to be helpful or hurtful?”