in I Am Jonah

My Right To Fight Back

I went to some offices that the law requires me to visit. (No, it wasn’t the police. Sorry the story is not that juicy.)

As a Christian I must be law-abiding. Right? Because it’s right and Jesus said so. In my obedience to Jesus, and the law I went to submit my documents.

After waiting for half the day I made it to the counter. As if I didn’t have a difficult time already, the person who served me did everything right. Well almost…

She asked for all the right information and the documents. The only thing she didn’t do right, as far as I was concerned, was the way she asked me for anything.

pushing back

I felt patronized by the way she asked me anything. Disrespected. I had just about endured enough ‘harassment’ and started to contemplate looking for an audience with her supervisor.

By that I mean, I was thinking about how snarky and mean I could be.

I believe people deserve great service. This includes public offices, right?

Somehow, for a change, I took a minute to carefully think about my response. My emotions were raging. My exterior was cool.

My mind was racing with the thousand things I was going to yell at the supervisor. I was intent on talking at the supervisor and the lady giving me the bad rap.

Then I knew, though I felt justified in speaking against bad service, I wasn’t justified to be as mean as I was planning to be. Jesus teaches. No, challenges me to do.

Jesus challenges me to bless those who curse me. To be kind to people who are mean to me. Not to serve the treatment I’ve received back to those who give it to me.

I’m glad I didn’t lash out, as I wanted. While I was still having the internal debate and discussions, she started asking me about my profession.

One of the documents I was submitting had the name of the youth ministry I serve in. That sparked conversation. She asked how we reached young people and commended the work we did.

It turns out she was also a Christ follower. Which, was also a reminder… Christ followers can sometimes be out of character and be mean also. If I had exploded the way I felt like then I would’ve done what she was doing…

There I was, for a moment, caught up between what God wants of me and what my feelings wanted. This was a reminder of how rouge my feelings can be and what God wants. I remembered, I am Jonah.

Have you had similar experiences? What was your response?

[image by Steve Snodgrass | cc]

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