“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
How do you react when things don’t go your way? Are you calm or do you implode like a detonated building? We live in a very over reactive society. It seems like the more drama you show, the more likely you get what you want. It is very sad and teaches children the wrong way to handle things. It seems like most people want to be civil with each other. Unfortunately, when some over reacts, your first impulse is to do the same thing.
There was one night our family ordered pizza. I called and placed my order for carry out. I could tell it was a busy night for them because I was placed on hold the first time for over 10 minutes to be disconnected. Then waited again to place my order. When I got there, I told them my order and they said it would be just a little longer. The place has only carry out or delivery. There were 10 of us crammed into the little waiting area. We all began to notice that we were waiting longer than we wanted. The staff seemed short-handed too. The people I was waiting with all began receiving their orders. I was starting to get impatient.
One lady made a comment to me that it seemed I was waiting longer than anyone else. I decided to say something. I asked about the pizza and he said, he will check. He came back with a frightened look on his face. He said that my pizza was never made. I exhaled slowly and loudly and asked for a refund. He told me that he wasn’t allowed too and all he could do was give me a credit for another pizza. So now I am “hangry” (hungry and angry). I asked politely for his manager. She looked frazzled and tired. I also noticed everyone was watching me in how I was about to respond to her. I made a decision to give her grace. In calm manner, I told her that it seems to have been a mix up and I didn’t get my order and how I would like to still get a pizza. She apologized profusely and said she was short-staffed and they were experiencing many technically issues with their ordering system. She offered to make the pizza personally and told me she would give me credit towards 2 pizzas. She told me how long it would take and I said I would wait. She walked in the back to make the pizza. I sat back down and the people waiting were smiling at me. One man said, “Wow, you were so nice and patient, I probably would have blown my top.” I smiled and said, “I could have done that too, but with all the problems in the world, I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal.” I got my pizza quickly. Both the guy and the manager thanked me for my patience and even offered to carry the pizza to my car. The pizza seemed better than usual too.
People do watch how you react to things, especially of one claims to be a Christian. There is nothing wrong in expressing your feelings or dismay, it is how you do it that can be a blessing or a hindrance. It seems like a super power to be patient with others. I struggle with it all the time. But God reminds me of that situation all the time, when I feel like I am about to go off on someone.
Lesson Learned: How would God want me to react in difficult situations? With His love and kindness.
“Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember to give grace freely. Remind me what truly matters. Mistakes happen, whether we give them or receive them. Let your heavenly love flow through this earth. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”