Sometimes things go smoothly, sometimes they don't. Every day, people go through different circumstances and we all cope with them in different ways. Often we have no idea of the extent of those in the lives of others just like they often don't know what's going on in ours!
The greetings we use every day make me laugh. "How are you?", with the standard responses being "Fine" or "Good thanks". It's the same here in Tanzania, when you greet (which you do during the first 5 minutes of every conversation!) in Kiswahili the response is either "Nzuri" or "Salama" ... basically "Good"!
Recently I was talking with a friend about this quote (below) that has been floating about on and off on Facebook for the last few months. How true it is ... but how easy is it to "Be kind. Always."?
Earlier this week I had a conversation with someone, first thing in the morning and without even giving me a chance to say 'Hello', they more-than-ranted about something that wasn't even any business of theirs and made me feel awful, really wound up and frustrated.
I would like to say that I was the perfect Christian missionary wife and mum, forgiving and understanding. Quick with a word of encouragement. But I'm only human! I had to drive across town straight afterwards and would be lying if I didn't say I was absolutely fuming the whole way there and the whole back! In fact, I'm surprised that there wasn't smoke coming out of my ears, I really was THAT mad!
Remembering the quote above. I took time to consider all that the person in question is going through at the moment. While I don't condone their behaviour, I understood a little bit why they acted the way they did. I also came to the conclusion that anger breeds anger ... they had made me mad after all. Forgiveness and understanding would be a much better reaction (requiring super-human powers) and besides I wasn't going to let them ruin my day.
Just because people are Christians doesn't make them perfect. I know those looking in on the Christian community are often quick to criticise when people they expect to act without fault, mess up ... or just 'act human'! We're all a work in progress and sometimes it is harder to react in a godly way than others ... but in the meantime just remember, everyone is fighting a battle you may never even know about, don't be quick to judge (or fume), be kind.