Have you ever gone into the grocery store in a hurry, successfully grabbed what you needed, jumped in the shortest register line, only to have the person in front of you decide to start writing a check after all the groceries were scanned and bagged? Or maybe the checkout person had to call for a price check… or two! If you think the grocery store can be aggravating, what about they highway? One day, I was heading home from church with my kids when I inadvertently cut a carload of youth a little short. As they came forward, I waved “I’m sorry” to them, to which they responded by hanging out the window, calling me every name they could think of and, of course, passing on the obligatory sign language. It was bad enough that it happened, but with my children in the car, it was about all I could take. I was so angry. Let’s face it, life can really deal the cards from the bottom of the deck at times, and we’re all human. Life doesn’t seem anywhere close to fair at times… but how we handle it is supposed to separate us from the rest of the world.
“But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:20-25
I’m preaching at myself more than to anybody else, but I know we all need to hear it from time to time. We are commanded to turn the other cheek, and embody the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We should be holding our tongues and refraining the sitcom-style slam we so often see as an example. The bottom line is this, the actors and writers on “Friends” are not our example….. Christ is!