"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15 (NIV)
I was talking with a customer service agent from an online company I have enjoyed doing business with for years. I was in a hurry to check things off my growing to-do list, and called thinking she could help me with a return. But when I explained I needed to return this certain item, things started to head south with our conversation.
She informed me that my item wasn’t on the returnable list. It was actually on the final sale list. I had no clue there was a returnable list and a final sale list. It wasn’t posted online or stated in their catalog.
I logically stated my case and felt sure she would see things my way. But she didn’t. No matter what I said or explained, she wouldn’t budge.
I knew the lady on the other end of the phone was just following procedure, but it made no sense. It wasn’t right, and I was frustrated!
And my tone of voice made it clear just how frustrated I was. Honestly, I didn’t have the time nor the patience to deal with that hiccup right then.
Later that same day, I was in line at the grocery store behind a man who wanted to use an expired coupon. The check-out gal calmly stated she couldn’t honor his coupon. Well, he didn’t like that one bit. And he made sure everyone around them knew how much he didn’t like this situation.
I stood appalled at his actions.
Until … I started thinking about the fact that I’d acted almost the same way with the customer service agent who refused what I wanted. The conviction wove its way through my heart and made me feel so badly for the way I’d reacted toward that woman.
After my call, she probably moved on to the next frustrated customer. And then the next. And then the next. Suddenly, I felt so sorry for her.
I decided it wasn’t her desire to not help me. She was truly just following the orders of the higher-ups at her company. I imagined her packing up her things at the end of another long day and heading home. A home where she had to face her own daily aggravations, frustrations and to-do lists.
That’s when it hit me. While on the phone, I never really pictured her as a person. To me, she was just a voice on the other end of the line that was causing me extreme frustration and keeping me from getting other things done.
How might my reaction have been different if I’d stopped to think about her as a woman just like me? What might it be like to be her, to live her life and do her job every day?
I really think God was trying to get my attention to be more aware of my reactions. More aware of handling daily frustrations in a way that reflects a heart that loves the Lord.
In today’s key verse, Luke 8:15, Jesus reminds us, "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."
I want Jesus’ message to fall on a heart that is humble and fertile enough to:
Receive God’s Word …
Retain God’s instruction and …
Reflect God’s character in both my actions and reactions.
When I stop to think about this I am challenged. Whether I’m talking with a customer service representative I don’t know or interacting with those I do everyday life with, I want to work toward being a woman who displays godly character.
Just like Luke 8:15 encourages, whether I’m having a frustrating conversation or a friendly one, may God’s messages of truth have such an impact on me that my heart and my mouth remain noble and good.
Dear Lord, it’s easy to honor You with my carefully thought-through actions but sometimes much harder with my reactions. Help me slow down and consider other people’s feelings so that Your love and patience will be the spillover from my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (NIV)
Are you running at an unhealthy pace that doesn’t allow you to stop and consider your reactions? Learn tangible ways to change that this year with Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. Purchase your copy here
Join Lysa for a free, 5-day "Unrush Me" devotion and have encouragement sent straight to your email inbox! Get started here
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What daily frustrations have you allowed to get on your last nerve?
Write those things down and ask the Lord to help you pause and think before reacting next time.
© 2015 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.