Okay, try something. To the next person you meet today, simply smile and say, “Have a nice day.” Notice what happens.
My Temperament has an abrupt side to it. I am half RED. Of the four human temperaments, one is more easily RUDE. (To read up on the Temperaments, subscribe to my blog and download my FREE eBook on Temperaments.)
While pushing my cart through the grocery store the other day, I was suddenly bumped from behind by a woman half my age. Immediately, I said, “Excuse me,” as I pulled over- even though it hadn’t been my fault. The woman quickly turned toward me as she walked by, asking, “What did you just say?” I repeated, “I said, ‘Excuse me.’ ” She grunted as she mumbled, “That better be what you said.”
I was stunned. What did she mean? Was she angry with me? That 5 second encounter left a mark! “I bet she is RED,” I thought to myself!
Our world is busy. People everywhere we go, every place we look, and sometimes life just gets to be too much for a person to handle. I understand that, usually; but, she was exceptionally rude.
This young woman was poised and ready to jump down my throat for reacting to her even though she had been the one who bumped into ME! She was not having a good day and I had gotten in her way.
I saw her a couple times down the various food aisles over the next 10 minutes. I can assure you, she was in no mood to talk to anyone. She was rushing, focused and not interested in making conversation. She was rude to everyone.
I have thought about her several times this week.
I have been in her shoes. There are days when I rush through my chores, list of to dos and unpleasant tasks. I tend to have a heavy foot on the gas pedal when I’m on a mission. I am impatient.
Am I rude?
I am not rude intentionally – don’t purpose to be rude, anyway. How do I come across to strangers? My kids have always cautioned me about the ‘looks’ on my face. I guess they can be pretty terrifying at times – for them, especially as they were growing up. Just one look from me would make them weak in the knees. (I considered this one of my best parenting tools.)
However, checking out of the grocery line that day, I was more aware of how I acted, what I said and how I looked to those around me in line. The young dad behind me in line was busy wrestling his 18 month old into the grocery cart as he bought junk food for lunch. (I could tell by the contents of his cart.) The checker was pre-occupied with some out-dated coupons from the unhappy lady in front of me, and the line next to me was full of kids out of school. Frazzled moms and people in a hurry everywhere I looked.
Wondering if any of them were believers, like me, I considered whether anyone looking at me could tell I love Jesus- or, could they just tell I am RED?
As I left the store, I casually said to my checker, “Have a nice day.” She made eye contact with me and whispered, “…too late- but thanks.”
Yikes, she was having a rough day too.
As Christians, we have an obligation to reflect Jesus in whatever we are doing and to whomever we meet – regardless of Temperament. Our comments and facial expressions – even on trips to the grocery store – should bring light to a dark world.
The Bible is full of behavior guidelines:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”… I Thess. 5:11
“Keep your behavior excellent”…I Peter 2:12
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up”…Eph. 4:29
“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”…James 1:19
“Do all things without grumbling or questioning”…Phil. 2:14
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10
“But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude…” I Cor. 5:10 (The Message)
Summertime is here. We will be mingling with people everywhere we go every day. I am choosing to be more aware of how I act and look this summer – so as not to negatively reflect my busyness as rudeness. Remember the old saying, “We may be the only Bible some people read.”
Being RED is no excuse for being rude!
Who will take this challenge with me?? Let me know how it goes!!