Something you may not know about me is I work with the public. Without divulging too much information about my current occupation I can tell you that I come into contact with hundreds of people each day and deal with never-ending crowds.
I have a confession to make, I am not exactly a people person. I’m an introvert through and through and dealing with the public takes a lot out of me. I’d much rather shrink back into a corner of some cubicle and work there for the rest of my existence.
Needless to say, I’m a work in progress with a mountain of flaws that Jesus is slowly ridding me of.
It just so happens that working in the public is where the Lord has me for now and I’m trying to make the best of it. This means I smile when I don’t feel like it and I’m friendly even though someone is rude to me. It’s my job and I’m grateful for it.
Taking Public Notice
With my having this kind of access to the masses I take notice of things that aren’t necessarily apparent to a person who lives a more secluded life. I am able to identify trends in behavior of the general public. One of the observations I have made has become so blatant that I can’t even ignore it anymore. Society has become extremely impatient.
Perhaps you are reading this and thinking, “But that’s nothing new”, and I agree, it isn’t anything new. What has changed is the level of impatience.
It’s impatience to the point of becoming rude. No one wants to wait their turn and people are completely inconsiderate of each other. Unfortunately this behavior has become so prevalent that it has become distressing.
People sigh and make faces when they have to wait more than a few minutes in line. When it is their turn they make it apparent to me that they are completely unhappy with having to wait and use it as an excuse to demean me or act condescendingly.
That is just the behavior I see at work and doesn’t include what I see on the road, while shopping, or while dining out. What were once isolated incidents have now become the new normal.
By no means do I have it all together, my last post about Parenting Teens Patiently mentioned how I struggle with my own patience level. I’m sure that God has put the subject of patience on my heart lately because He is trying to teach me a thing or two about it. I fall short…each and every day. The fact that He is revealing this trend in society to me has me looking at the areas in myself that need change.
We are all impatient in one way or another and we show it in different ways.
Are you impatient while waiting in traffic? Do you get irritable while waiting for your food while dining out? Maybe you expect people to jump when you say so, or perhaps you are rude in the line at the grocery store. Where are your opportunities for growth?
Why Are We So Impatient?
I’m sure you are familiar with the term “instant gratification” and how it is associated with the lives we live today. We live in an era of smart phones and online shopping with next-day delivery. We are conditioned to want things quick and without hassle. The alternative called “waiting” is just not an option anymore.
We have also learned to be intolerant to personalities and cultures that are different than our own. Impatience makes us incapable of loving each other despite our differences. We become unforgiving of each other’s faults and unyielding because our way is the one that matters the most. We don’t want to be inconvenienced and held up learning about other point of views.
God Wants Us to Be Patient
“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”
2 Timothy 2: 23-24
Our Lord wants us being tolerant of each other to the point of being kind to everyone. Even if people are difficult, we have to love them. I especially have to chew on this a while because there are many a times when I don’t want to love on rude people. Loving difficult people is a very challenging thing to do, and yet Jesus calls us to it.
Our natural tendency is to fight back when we feel we are wronged. Patience is having the humility and meekness to be able to be persecuted and know that God is the one who settles the score. We can forgive and be free of the burden of revenge by loving people more than we love ourselves.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Ephesians 4: 2
We Are the Light of the World
As believers in Christ it is our responsibility to be the salt and the light here on Earth. Part of our purpose is to stand apart and be different from those who are lost. The public will see the love of Christ in our willingness to love the unlovable and how we show kindness in the most challenging circumstances.
How can we stand-out if we are living unchanged and irritated?
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5: 14-16
I pray today that we go forward as changed followers-of-Christ. I want to leave a legacy of love and do things in a way that bring the Lord all the honor and the Glory. Change me Lord.