“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life”—Titus 3:4-7 (NIV).
If Jesus hadn’t gotten a hold of me almost 20 years ago, there might have been a fight yesterday. But, since He never gave up on me, kindness won.
Although I grew up attending church, I never had a personal relationship with Jesus until my late 40s. I wasn’t a “bad” person, but my tendency to open my mouth and insert my foot often got me into trouble, meaning I didn’t think before speaking. Acting impulsively was also one of my character flaws. Without thinking of the consequences, I would often jump in with both feet and then live to regret it.
What happened yesterday? I was at the drive-through at a local fast-food place to order a drink. In the outside lane, I moved forward after placing my order. Another vehicle was in front of me paying for theirs. To my left, in the inside lane, was a large pick-up truck. When I pulled forward, the driver was still placing his order. However, he decided he needed to inch in front of me. He was so close, I could’ve reached out to touch the truck’s bumper. Then, it happened.
When We React with Kindness
I must confess. Kindness was not my first reaction. However, all I did was look at him. Maybe it was more of a glare. What did the driver do? He returned my “look” with an obscene gesture. My anger increased. But I didn’t respond—although I would’ve been tempted to in the past.
Managing to move forward in line to the window, I was still seething. Then, it happened. God’s Holy Spirit spoke through my anger. Upon reaching the cashier, I asked her what the driver behind me had ordered and the total. When she replied with his breakfast order and the amount, $6.40, I said, “I want to pay for his, too.”
When I told her why, she said, “What a jerk!” Although I agreed with her, I added, “I’m going to show him some kindness.” As she handed me my change, the anger dissipated. I learned a lesson as I hope the rude driver did. But it didn’t matter because I was flooded with peace. If I’d held onto the anger, the rest of my day might have been ruined.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service