Gentle Words

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs 15:1

“He was arrogant.” I thought to myself as I climbed in my car after leaving one of the repairmen at my house. He spoke direct, which I didn’t mind, but his tone got under my skin. “I’m paying him for the work, he shouldn’t…” the rant went on in my mind.

As I pulled into the computer shop parking lot, dreading taking my computer in for a repair, I was still frustrated from the previous ten minutes. Rounding the corner to the work counter I heard a woman screaming and cussing out the young man at the counter. Another gentleman asked to help me.

I stood at the counter while the attendant worked on my computer and the woman continued to berate his coworker. I asked gently and quietly, “Do y’all get this a lot?”

“About once a day,” He replied, not looking up from my computer.

“I would break down into tears.” I responded. He smiled looking up for a second and then returning his focus on my computer.

The irate woman continued her berating.

I grew more nervous. The young man helping me finished and I asked him how much I owed him. “Nothing. It was no problem.”

“Thank you. Thank you so much,” I said with an “I hope your day gets better.”

Exiting the store, I could still hear the woman.

Climbing in my car, I stopped to pray. First, giving thanksgiving for my computer getting fixed for free and then for the guys working the counter to know they are appreciated. Next I included the woman, because she obviously needed help of some kind. Afterward, I realized I needed to pray for the repairman at my house, too. Even though I hadn’t been rude to him, I sure wanted to be. I was so grateful I had held my tongue after listening to the woman in the computer shop. I was also grateful for the work getting done. I would definitely let him know I appreciated him.

It is so easy to be rude back when we get offended. Hateful attitudes spew awful words. Kindness though is a strength that carries so much more weight than put downs and profanity. I was grateful for that reminder and for once, relieved my response was nice on the front end and I wasn’t have to do clean-up apologies later.

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