November 1, 2022
“Those who love Your law have great peace; Nothing makes them stumble.” Psalms 119:165 (AMP)
A serving of more than salad . . .
I stood at the salad bar before a transparent partition. “I would like some olives.” I pointed out black ones to the lady behind the glass protecting her from my germs.
A fellow diner came and staked out her territory beside me.
The server spooned a few olives on top of my bed of lettuce.
“Mushrooms, too,” I requested. The server added them.
“Corn, if you would.” I nodded at the bowl of yellow kernels.
She sprinkled them on.
“Some bleu cheese crumbles.”
“A bit of cubed chicken.”
“Two slices of cucumbers.”
“A tiny bit of shredded beets, if you don’t mind.”
Yep. My salad was shaping up.
The attendant continued to do a sensational job of loading up my bowl.
“What type of dressings are those?” I asked.
The woman patiently ran through the selection of Ranch, Blue Cheese, Honey Mustard, Italian, Thousand Island, and a couple more. She lifted my bowl to hand it to me over the counter.
“Oh, and a few croutons, too, while you’re at it.” My mouth watered in anticipation.
The diner in line beside me let out a gush of air and exclaimed a few words I won’t repeat here. She tromped off in a huff.
Sheesh. There wasn’t anybody else bellying up to the bar, so she had no reason to get her tongue in such a twit.
Her disgust descended on me like a film of yuck.
I find it less than enjoyable to be slimed on by someone’s not so pleasant attitude or statements of how I am making their life miserable. However, I am of the belief that no one can determine for me how I react or respond. That is my choice. As was it her choice how to react over the amount of my time at the counter.
Forbearance—patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.
So, what did I do? I took God’s Word to heart and resolved not to be offended. Then went a step further and prayed for this dear soul, asking the Lord to help her however she needed help.
Actually, I have a lot of practice with forbearance—mostly on the road. It might help you to understand this better if you know how obedient I am with regards to speed limits. I follow them precisely, exactly. Perhaps I should amend that. Sometimes I drive a mile or two under the limit, but rarely over. Needless to say, on more than one occasion, travelers on my tail have passed me blasting their horns or raising one-finger salutes. My husband says I should look in the mirror to see all the accidents I cause in my wake. Ha. Ha. He’s such a kidder.
I digress. Once I get past the point of being startled by honks or shouts, I lift these drivers to the Lord for a blessing. It feels good to shake off their negativity.
Any of us who is in a relationship, co-worker, spouse, parent-daughter or son, neighbor, etc. has a plethora of opportunity to practice forbearance. We can count on rubbing someone the wrong way. Not that we do it intentionally, but not everyone agrees with our approach to life. So, when an insult is slung our way . . .
Pick up the sword of the spirit (God’s Word as in Proverbs 19:11, Amplified Version): “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense (without seeking revenge and harboring resentment).”
When we heed this guidance, we gain so much—honor, glory, freedom from resentment, and peace. What a deal! And our relationships gain the blessing as well. How much more pleasant it is to shrug off an offense and embrace forbearance and forgiveness.
What will you do the next time someone lobs a slur or a not-so-welcome comment your way?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for providing a way for me to not take on other people’s dissatisfaction. Please help me to be kind to them and to pray for you to bless them.
Thoughts for the Day on Forbearance, Wisdom, Patience, and Virtue:
(NIV way of looking at Proverbs 19:11) “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
(HSCB version of Proverbs 19:11) “A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”
Helpful link: http://webermeskew.com