Last night on the way home, I needed to stop by Mardel or Lifeway to get “Humility” by CJ Mahoney for our Men’s Bible Study. Mardel was closer so I whipped into there. The guy was very friendly(Mardel and Lifeway always are) and asked if he could help me. I told him the book I was looking for and he called someone to the “Book Table” to help me. As I walked away from the front of the store to the “Book Table” I saw a lady with a shopping cart FULL of mdse headed to the cash register. You can see the writing on the wall can’t you? I should have left right then and there.
However, I walked back to the “Book Table” in spite of my misgivings. The guy in the Book Section was also very friendly and helpful. He looked up my book. They only had one left. Thank goodness it was on the shelf. By this time I had forgotten about Shopping Cart Lady. Once I got up to the Cash Register though; THERE SHE WAS. The salesperson was PAINSTAKINGLY ringing item by item up for her. Of course, they were all clearance items so he had to press extra keys to price override each individual little piece.
Throughout the transaction, he kept making mistakes; ringing the wrong price; counting wrong the qty of each item; etc. At one time he rang something for $400 which they both got a laugh out of and it took some time for him to correct the mistake. Then at the end the total was $112.49. The customer automatically doubted that was correct. Surely not. He agreed. So they went over item by item on the receipt and sure enough … it was correct! It’s just amazing I guess when you buy so many little things, that it still adds up … ha ha ha ….
You know me so you know what I’m thinking the whole time. I work in retail. You don’t do this to your clients. You apologize to the people that are waiting on you; you are polite but you hurry with the current customer you have; you call someone to help you! What a concept … Call Someone To Help Take Care Of The Other Customers! As my frustration mounts a variety of emotions/thoughts run through my head: “Put the book down and leave” “Ask the guy to call someone else” “Tell the guy to call someone else” “Go find someone else to ring me up” “Ask for the mgr”
Just about the time I get ready to do any of those I just listed, this nagging thought comes into play: You’re at a Christian Book Store; the lady in front of you is probably a Christian and the guy ringing her up is a Christian. You don’t want to make a scene in front of a bunch of Christians. You’re a Christian … just be patient. So, I stay there and seethe the whole time because I’m around Christians.
It got me to thinking. We’re always like that. We always act our best around Christians. We never let anyone see us lose our temper; we’re always politically correct(Christian Style); we don’t yell at someone; etc. If a Christian is in the car with us; we don’t yell at the man who just cut us off; we just smile and say: “don’t you love Arkansas Drivers?”
Yet, when it comes to being around Non-Christians, we act however we want; whenever we want; we say what we want; etc. We don’t have to put up a front for them. They don’t know we’re Christians, so we can say; do; think; act however we want.
Don’t we have it backwards? Shouldn’t I be more concerned about the impression I leave with the unsaved instead of just the saved? Doesn’t God have me here to be a witness to the unsaved world around me? How can I be a witness to them if all I ever do is act like them; sound like them; etc? Shouldn’t I stand out from them? Shouldn’t they “take note that I’ve been with Jesus?”
So, the next time I get frustrated with someone at the store; gas station; work; neighborhood; etc, and I get frustrated a lot … remember … I work in retail. I need to remember I represent Christ. I am His Ambassador. I need to act like His Ambassador. Leave the petty stuff out of my life. There’s no need for it and no room for it; if I let Christ fill my life and my heart.
Be Nice To More Than Just Christians …
P.S. When I told my wife this story, she said it’s ironic that I was buying a book on Humility at the time …
Irony, huh? Whatever …