Patience is hidden. Tempers are rising. Words are flying. Insult after insult. Mean look after mean look. Attitudes not so great.
Does this describe your Christmas shopping parking lot experiences? Or at the mall?
This is such a common occurrence, that most of the world just expects this. Doesn’t even think twice about acting like this. This is a normal part of the Christmas season.
It sure seems all wrong to me. It doesn’t sound like Christmas at all.
This has been me more times than I’d like to admit.
I actually can share one story about this, shamefully.
This was quite a few years ago, when my daughter was a toddler. It was Christmas shopping time, I went to the mall to find that perfect gift. The parking lot was something out of Nightmare on Elm Street. Just disastrous, scary and wishing you could just run away from it. So… I found this perfect parking spot, close to the mall entrance. Making it easier to tote my little toddler. I waited patiently for the person to load up their car and safely pull out. What you know, out of no where some crazy lady zipped right into that spot. Boy was I livid. My blood was boiling. My husband tried to calm me down, but there was no way. And this was before I was a Christian, so please forgive me.
I hopped out of my beater car, grabbed my toddler and gave that lady my two cents (yes with my toddler in my arms). Not only did I tell her, but I got in her face. Talk about a spectacle. And THANK God that we didn’t have mobile phones with cameras then. I would have gone viral in a second. I was ready to hit her, show her you don’t treat me that way. Somehow my husband got control of the situation. I was still mad, and conniving ways to destroy her car. All of this while my child was with me, watching me, looking up to me. Eeeks. Terrible, terrible, terrible.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only time I acted so rotten. There were many.
I try to keep my composure now, even when someone “steals” my parking spot or treats me wrong.
I just try to think that maybe they are having a really bad day and they really needed that spot. Or someone else just treated them poorly and they are passing the buck.
I don’t fight back (as much) with retaliating words anymore. I think I said more than my fair share back in the day.
I understand this, Christmas Season, can be a stressful time, especially when we’re focused on the wrong things.
But I bet some of us, act like this year round?!
With our family.
I know this is a hard concept, it’s something I have to consciously work on everyday. Instead of giving a harsh word or attitude when you felt you’ve been wronged. Or when you have been insulted. Don’t retaliate. Give a blessing instead. Yes, say something nice. Do something good.
Not only does this catch the other person off guard, but it calms the situation down. It makes you become that loving person you are supposed to be. God tells us in 1 Peter 3:9, “Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead pay them back with a blessing.”
Yes, this might be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but this will be one of the biggest blessings to you that you receive back.
Others will appreciate that there still are kind people out there, even when they are being ugly.
Remember whatever type of seeds you plant, they WILL come back in a great harvest. Seeds of insults. Seeds of turmoil. Seeds of hate. Seeds of resentment. They will all come back.
I’d rather plant seeds of love. Seeds of kindness. Seeds of acceptance. Seeds of understanding. Seeds of forgiveness.
Lord knows I need everyone of those given back to me many times over!!
I challenge you to pay people back with a blessing when they insult, offend or treat you poorly.
And not only for Christmas shopping, but everyday of your life. Every moment.
Can you imagine a world where we don’t retaliate when we’re offended? Where we just let it go and forgive right away?
I can see it. I would like to experience it!
Will you be the change?
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Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo