Friend, if you want to be an example to the world and to society in general, stand up to evil with gentleness, mercy, and understanding, and watch as people are influenced. You never know people’s story; you never know what they have been through. Life is hard and a lot of the people you encounter have been through some tough stuff recently, so choose not to assume the worst.
There’s a great story in the T.V. show Modern Family, where a grandson is talking to his grandpa about how he was crossed in some way. The grandpa looks at him and sternly tells him that the next time something like that happens, he needs to stand up for himself and pop his offender in the mouth. A while later, on a trip to the mall together, the tough-guy grandpa is blinkering for a parking spot, and as soon as the car he’s eyeing pulls out, somebody else zips in and quickly steals the spot. As you would expect, grandpa is not happy and he asserts that if he sees that guy in the mall, he’s going to punch him! In the next scene, the two of them are walking around a department store and they see the parking spot thief. The grandson tugs on his grandpa’s coat and asks him if he’s going to confront him. Nervously, grandpa agrees and approaches the guy and says, “Hey bub, you’re the one who stole my parking spot!” Unexpectedly, the guy turns around, with a tear running down his face, and says, “Oh, I did? I’m so sorry. I’m very scatterbrained today. My dog just died.” When he hears those words, understandably, grandpa’s expression softens and his sympathetic grandson says, “Grandpa, don’t punch him!”
I share this scene only because it illustrates a great point. A lot of the time when someone steals your parking spot, they are just “THAT” kind of person, but you never know. Everyone is someone’s son or daughter, and everyone has bad days. Why not give the benefit of a doubt and believe the best about the one who offended you? As much as helping them, it helps you to stress less and to embrace God’s easy rhythms of grace in your life! Isn’t that good news?