What is it about the society we live in that causes us to have a cattiness about the way we think?
Let me give you an example:
You are at the grocery store and I am at the grocery store. We go to church together. I’m always quick to give you a friendly smile, shake your hand, and we often have surface level conversations. While we are shopping, you see me and you waive and smile. I, however go on about my business without acknowledging that you exist.
“Humph” you think, “well, I’m never going back to that church again.”
You proceed to jump on your face book and post a 10 page rant stating, “this is why I hate church people, friendly to me at church, but can’t even give me the time of day in public. How judgmental are you, you hypocrite…. Blah, blah, blah…”
What is not clear about the situation above is the details.
You see, you are on a leisurely shopping trip. You are taking your time, observing each item, relaxing as you walk down each isle by yourself. And while your eyes caught mine….. My eyes never saw you.
My shopping trip was much different than yours. You see, I had a rough night. My kids were both up multiple times and I got very little sleep. I’m really not feeling well today, but we desperately needed groceries. SO, I put forth my best effort to get up and get myself and my kids ready to go.
As I was heading out the door this morning, I got a phone call that a friend of mine passed away. Meanwhile, my 1 year old exploded his britches, colored on my white living room wall and dumped an entire box of goldfish crackers on my floor. AND, my 3 year old had to be chased through the yard because she refused to get in her car seat.
AND, now, here I am, at the store. I already feel like I ran a marathon today. I am doing my best to keep my kids under control, read my grocery list, correspond with my husband, and get the heck out of this store before we all have a meltdown.
I didn’t see you.
I was too caught up. My day had been too much. My mind was somewhere else.
BUT, you will never know that. Because, you didn’t care to ask. Because you were too busy thinking about you and how you didn’t get the attention you should have.
*The above story is not an exact truth- it’s fiction. BUT many times I have seen this scenario play out. Many times I have been on both sides of this story line.*
I have been the one quick to think, “she must not like me” or “she thinks she’s better than me” or a number of other notions that may or may not be true.
But, the more I grow, the more the Lord reminds me to be gracious.
Rather than jumping to a catty conclusion that focuses on YOU, why not come to a gracious conclusion that is about THEM?
After all, you don’t KNOW what is going on in other lives and hearts.
SO, reset your mind today. Think the best of people. Allow your mind and heart to be gracious.
Because, once again, God is gracious to us even in the midst of our broken, messy lives.
How can you begin to have a gracious mindset today?
James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”