BLOG: 1 Peter 3:8-10: "Finally, be all of one mind, be loving toward one another, be gracious, and be kind. Do not repay evil for evil, or curse for curse, but on the contrary, bless, knowing that to this you are called, so that you may receive a blessing. For 'He who would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.'"
When I was a kid, I like to go to my friends' house to play. On my way out the door, I would hear my mom say, "Play nice dear. Use your manners and be polite." I wasn't a kid that was prone to being rude or impolite. But mom would say it every time I went out the door.
We live in a world of rude people. No one will argue that point. The other day I drove to Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of coffee. I went through the drive-through lane and was ordering my large coffee in a latte cup (I will not drink coffee out of a styrofoam cup) when I noticed a car pulling in front of me. "Weird," I thought.
When I pulled up, I could see this lady was trying to bypass me and order directly at the window. My face revealed what I thought as she started to throw her hands up, glare at me through her side mirror and say a lot of things that I don't think were complementary. I wasn't trying to upset her, but I did. The cashier behind the window said something to her, which cause her to make more significant hand gestures suddenly, glare at me even more intently, and use words I wouldn't repeat here. Then she drove off.
I pulled up and asked, "What happened?" The cashier said she was cutting in line so she could get out of here faster. She told her to go around and order at the menu like everyone else. FYI - I checked, she didn't do it.
When people are rude, our natural tendency is to give them a dose of their own medicine. We all know that we have had to stand up for what is right. Nothing wrong with that. But getting even isn't an option for us. What do you do?
Consider the moment. Sometimes people get frustrated and act up. Give them kind words, and often that will settle them down.
No "eye for an eye" stuff. That's the Old Testament. There if you broke the law, you paid the price. We live under grace. So try forgiving before attacking.
Don't mouth off. The book of James is right. The most unruly member of your body is your mouth.
Nope, you're not a doormat. Some people think that Jesus followers are to be trampled on. No, we are not. Jesus said to turn the other cheek, but there is nothing that means we have to allow injustice to be committed against us or anyone else.
Peace is the goal. Paul told us that in as much as it is up to you, keep the peace.
PRAY: Dear Jesus, someone is going to tick me off today. Help me to respond with grace. AMEN