I fancy myself a pretty kind person. I tend to run away from confrontation and try to sprinkle roses and happy smiles and hearts whenever claws start being sharpened. (Sorry Kari and Jami) but it comes from being the third sister and seeing my two head-strong older sisters fight amongst themselves and with my parents and me always thinking, geez, couldn’t y’all just be nice to each other? Life would be SO much nicer. (Although… I lived in the North, so didn’t say y’all then!)
But occassionally… someone says something, or does something, that makes a very not-Jesus-like person bubble up out of me.
Thankfully, my normally “nice” disposition allows me to *usually* squelch the desire to tear into them.
Like yesterday. It was something super simple. A phone call. A stranger who responded with what I felt, at the time, was rudeness. But I was having a super busy day and just wanted to pull my hair out, and this little bitty thing would have made my day just a tad bit easier, and the person acted like I was asking them to move Mount Everest with their pinky.
In my (admittedly slightly hormonal) busy state, it made me want to pull out my snarky, Krista attitude and say a few things I would have totally regretted.
What I wanted to say was, “Ya know? It isn’t that big of a
deal, isn’t that hard, and would really save me some time and help me
out. What you don’t realize is that I have a little baby in the car
hooked to a feeding pump that I can’t (don’t want to) get out of the car, nor do I want to leave her in there by herself for some stranger to steal, and if you could do this itsy-bitsy thing it’d really help me out, but
nooooooo, it seems that it is too difficult for you or you just can’t
find an ounce of compassion in that body of yours to help a girl out so whatever, I’ll do it the “normal” way and put my daughter at risk all because you felt like you needed to follow one single (stupid) rule to the itty bitty letter. Well, would you like to know where you can take and shove your rule? Hmmm???”
But I didn’t. Well, in full disclosure, I said something like “Fine” between gritted teeth and went on with life.
And I’m so glad I did. Because I would have felt stupid and awful and every time I saw said person I would have an immense amount of regret and if person ever found out I am a Christian she would have been like, “Really? Could have fooled me!”
And really, said person might have just been having an equally as frustrating day. Who knows. But responding with meanness doesn’t fix anything. (and at my heart, I’m a rule follower too… so I very well might have done the same thing if roles had been reversed…)
Somewhere along the line I think we’ve become to feel entitled. We’re feel like everyone should do what we ask, think how we think, and react how we want them to react. The issue of entitlement is a huge one, and I won’t tackle that today because it is a big beef I have.
But today, I’m reminding myself that “a kind word turns away wrath” and that it really IS good to spread CHEER instead of bitter words. Granted, my “fine” response probably wasn’t very cheerful, but it is better than it could have been!
*side note* This does not mean that you need to be a doormat. I think a lot of people view this philosophy as letting people “walk all over them” and while I know plenty of people who do that, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can gently stand up for ourselves and still carry our heads high without being a jerk. Not easy… but totally possible.
Oh, and another note. I’ve heard the whole argument of, “Well, even Jesus overturned some tables in His day…” Folks… Jesus was protesting the desecration of God’s Holy Temple. Someone cutting you off in traffic, or the customer service people on the phone not being helpful… is totally NOT THE SAME THING! In fact, there is probably a lot of desecration going on that God would LOVE for us to turn some tables over on, but that’s the stuff we overlook and tolerate these days.
Okay, stepping off my Krista soapbox for the day. Time to get some cleanin’ done!