Devotional – What Would Jesus Do?
“But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge” – Dickens “A Christmas Carol”, Page 7
“Excuse me!” came a shrill, clearly annoyed voice.
Inwardly, I cringed. I had barely been at work a full hour and already three customers had approached me with bad attitudes and various complaints. I could feel myself tensing, bracing myself for yet another confrontation.
“Yes, can I help you?” I asked, forcing myself to smile.
“As a matter of fact, you can! You can do your job!” the customer said, pointing to the customer service desk. “And help me find a book.” I felt my stomach churn and for a split second my head spun in pure rage.
“What is with these people?” I asked myself. “Are we not approaching Christmas? Is this not supposed to be the time for joy, thanksgiving, and merry making? Yet, half the people who have come in here today are rude and downright nasty!”
Bitterness boiled inside of me as I led the customer toward the information desk, listening to more of her complaints and rude remarks along the way. In that moment I, like Scrooge, longed to disappear into the shadows of life: away from people, away from noise, and away from all that accursed negativity.
Just as I was about to rip off my badge, place it on the counter, and tell the customer to find her own books a passage from Scripture came to mind. “Do not fear, for I am with you,” the passage read. “Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!” (Isaiah 41:10)
Suddenly, I found myself focusing on how Jesus would want me to react to the situation rather than the customer’s rudeness. God must have given me a lot of strength in those precious few seconds because in the next instant I found myself smiling, apologizing for the wait time, and offering my service.
In the next five minutes, I had managed to not only locate her book, but also establish a conversation that had earned her trust, respect, and gratitude. As she walked away, happily carrying her merchandise to the registers, I couldn’t help but reflect how truly magnificent God is.
While I would have tried to hide from the situation God, in His wisdom, encouraged me to open my heart and extend His mercy and love to someone who treated me poorly, just as Jesus would have done. In doing so, God penetrated my anger, strengthened my resolve, and ignited a sense of understanding and goodwill between the customer and myself.
As I write this, I am awed by the power our God has to bring joy to the world, even when the situation starts out murky.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, When someone hurts or offends us it is so easy to get defensive and shrink into ourselves. Yet, through your life and death you showed us the way of love. You showed us how a kind smile, compassion, and a servant’s heart can turn a somber situation into a joyous occasion. Be by my side throughout today. Help remind me that I have nothing to fear because you are my strength.
9/25 - Begin Your Story
9/26 - Come As You Are
9/28 - A Place In this World
9/30 - Dance With The Devil
10/5 - What's First On Your List?
10/19 - Leading By Serving
10/21 - Anything Small Can Be Made Great
10/23 - Give It Your All
10/26 - Breaking Down The Barrier
10/28 - God's Got Your Back
11/4 - God's Promise
11/6 - A Call To All God's Children
11/11 - Shattered Expectations
11/13 - Do Not Be Silent
11/18 - Acts of Light
11/23 - Overcome The Grave
11/30 - Fall, Rise, Repeat
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