Today I was in a grocery store, and as I was checking out, the man who was sacking my groceries said, “I didn’t like that woman that came before you.” He went on to tell me how she approached the cashier and complained about how he checked out her items and was irritated when he did not get her loyalty number down right the first time. He said that she was peeved that she had to repeat her phone number. He went on to say that she was rude to him too in the way she asked for a bag for her items. I said that maybe she was having a hard day. The sacker didn’t buying my excuse for her.
As I completed my purchase, I told him that I thought I could carry everything to my car by hand, but he said no and that he wanted to go outside anyway. I told him thanks and as we walked to my car I remarked that it was sad that some people couldn’t or wouldn’t take the time to be kind and polite and be respectful of one another. He agreed.
It doesn’t take that much more time to be kind, yet I know there have been times when I have been short with someone or expressed my frustrations and exasperations. There is no room for me to point any fingers. Today was really more of a reminder for myself as I spoke to the gentleman that helped me get my groceries to my car during this hectic season of holidays about “giving.” We went on to talk about what a pretty day it was and other small talk as he helped me load the groceries in my car and parted with a have a great day to one another.
When I think about Jesus, He came as God to become a man – initially as an infant. God got down in the dirt with sinful man to live among us, serve us, and show us the way of salvation through His love for the Father and obedience to His will. Why should I complain? Why should I expect anything really? Jesus, who never sinned and lived a perfect human life, was misunderstood, mistreated, rejected, and ultimately selected to be executed in the place of a murderer.
What a Savior! What an example. Jesus said that as His disciples we shouldn’t expect to be treated any better than He was, but don’t we … When we remember who we are and whose we are, a lot of things really won’t matter or shouldn’t. The way others treat us is more of a reflection on who they are than on who we are. When we remember this and consider what God’s own Son went through, we won’t care so much that we had to deal with a long line, repeat information a second or third time, or that we need to ask for something that seems obvious to us, but is oblivious to someone else. When we remember that we, as Christians, are dead to our selves — to our will, ways, and wants – we will have the ability to focus on others and their needs. We will notice their needs, respect their efforts on our behalf, notice when they are having a difficult day, and show the common courtesy that isn’t so common anymore.
There are a lot of people weighed down with the worries of this old world today. There are many who don’t know what to do or where to turn. Life is tough for them. With a smile, kind words, a little empathy, and genuine love for our fellow man (all of whom are equally valued by God and worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice), we can show them the light, the way, the truth, and how to spend an eternity in heaven with God.
I’m talking to myself here — I pray that I can look outward to others and their needs over my own. I hope I can lift someone’s spirits and perhaps even make their day with something positive or good. Sometimes it is just the simple things, the little things, and a smile, a thank you, or an excuse me, please that can show someone that they are valued and appreciated. I’m going to work harder on remembering all of this and my experience at the grocery store today.
Lastly, I am reminded of Philippians 2. This scripture challenges me so very often. It says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” I’ll be thinking on these things… I hope I have encouraged you to think on them too.