“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.”
John 7:24

Everyday, we are in contact with the public. Sometimes we have pleasant interactions. Other times we do not (especially when we drive). In the times the interaction is unpleasant you just wonder, “Geez, what is wrong with them?”

In my neighborhood, I have become friends with the morning dog walkers. But some of the dog walkers are the neighborhood gossips. Unfortunately, I get the run down of neighbors and their issues. One lady in particular was bad mouthing another neighbor, who is a good friend of mine. It was hard to hear it and I tried to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible.

I contacted that friend and asked her is everything was okay because I hadn’t seen her walking her dogs in the last few days. She told me a heartbreaking story and I could tell she was overwhelmed. Basically, she was having marital problems due to his husband’s addiction and he had to leave home to seek treatment. They have a child under the age of 1 and she worked full-time, plus she had her 2 dogs and could barely get out to walk them herself.

So, the neighbor who was bad-mouthing her, had no idea of my friend’s current life status and was sore about my friend being curt and seeming to try to leave when they were talking.

How many times when someone has an attitude and you think, “What’s their problem?” Or “Why are they acting so weird today?” They could have lost their parent, spouse or child. Their financial situation could be in distress or have major health issues to deal with. The list goes on.

We shouldn’t be a doormat to abusive behavior, but sometimes in certain situations, we should have grace when someone is rude. Most of the time when I have shown grace, they have apologized afterwards.

In this season of the holidays, let grace be the present we give out the most. You just never know what someone is going through.

Lesson Learned: Instead of taking things personally, try engaging rudeness with grace instead.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for those going through hard times. May they cling to you for strength and comfort. Help us recognize when people are suffering and hurting. Show us ways to help them out. Forgive us for making blanket judgements. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”