It’s no secret to those around me that I don’t care much for most people. They are irritating. I don’t understand them. They are rude. So caught up in their own little world they are oblivious to everyday niceties. Thank you and excuse me seem to be excluded from their vocabulary. This annoys me.
I try to be polite. I hold the door open for someone following me into the store; I say ‘May I?’ instead of ‘I want.’, and ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ is most definitely in my vocabulary.
The tone may not always be nice.
Have you ever been invisible in the grocery store? I am not a petite person, so I really don’t think it’s a matter of not being seen behind the grocery cart, but I constantly have to move or I will be mowed down by the other shoppers. I will move out of the way when someone comes up to peruse the shelf where I have been looking for what I need; I say ‘excuse me’ when I pass in front of someone else gazing upon the shelves looking for that certain item on their list.
No one says ‘Thank you’ or ‘Excuse me’.
I realize everyone is in their own little world, but it isn’t their own little world! It’s a world full of other people making their way through their day just like everyone else.
I have been banging my head on the wall about this for so long.
This morning I read Matthew 22:37-39. Again.
And we all know this one, right?
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.
Why has it taken so long for me to understand this?
When I do something that I think is right, or polite, I have always been upset when it was not returned. Why don’t they see I’m being nice? Why aren’t they returning the nicety?
Over and over. Every day. I’ve tortured myself.
It always comes back to the thought that it must me something about me.
But as I read Matthew 22 this morning, I realized that I am not responsible for people to reciprocate my behavior. I am only responsible for exhibiting that behavior.
So simple, I know.
Now, to remember this when I venture out into the sea of humanity. The ocean of rudeness and self-centered action of people all around me continually tests me.
Maybe now the answer to the test was finally found in a few lines of scripture.
Maybe this is where I needed to be to really learn this.
Here are a couple other scriptures that need to go with me whenever I go out.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
2 Timothy 2:24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach,
and be patient with difficult people.