Sitting in a cafe one morning, reading and praying as usual (my gift of 'time out with God and a coffee' from my husband)... A lady comes into the coffeeshop who is very demanding and rude – no ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. When the lovely cafe owner asked if the lady was ok, the lady was a little taken aback and looked down and muttered something about having been rushing around that morning. It was a poor excuse but perhaps she was shocked that someone would ‘call her’ on her bad behaviour (however nicely and politely it was done).
My first challenge came when I wanted to give her a dirty look for behaving so badly and God said to show love. My second challenge came when I heard God tell me to watch my own behaviour. How do I treat others when I’m feeling flustered because of something that has nothing to do with them and yet because they're there, I may take out my frustrations on them? Forgive me Lord... God challenged me a third time about finding joy in him, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in.
I want Him to work in me first. That morning challenged me about how I come off to others sometimes. As always, it’s about me and God and it wasn’t about that lady – God can speak to her.
I was reminded of a scene from an episode of the sitcom “Everybody loves Raymond” where Andy, one of Ray’s friends, asks Ray “does Debra realise how she’s coming off to others?”. Debra had just yelled at Ray in front of his friends...
Sometimes I just want to vent or go my own way and don’t think of anyone else or how I may be perceived by others. People might observe my life at times and not think much of Christians or of God and I don’t want that. While I don’t want to live my life worrying about how I ‘come off to others’ by living to please them, I do want to live to please God so that when people observe my life, they see love and joy and may seek God for themselves.