A former pastor of mine once told this embarrassing story on himself. It was Sunday morning and he was en route to his church but was slowed down by a particularly tortoise-like driver. Her slow amble irritated him no end and he had to wait quite awhile to finally pass her.
When he was able to get around this lady’s car he honked with exasperation and turned to give her a dirty look. He then rushed on to church and stood at the front entrance to greet people. Well, you probably guessed it: the same lady pulled into the parking lot and started for the door. She was a first time visitor.
The pastor told us he learned a lesson that day which would last him a lifetime. The casual contact you have with people on the road or at a store or in a parking lot may seem to have nothing to do with your Christian walk. If rudeness occurs it can be easily dismissed because you will never see them again.
Or – maybe not. Maybe they will show up in your life again later, much to your chagrin. A question we would be wise to ask ourselves is: am I the same person in the checkout as I am in the pew? Is the smile I have at church interchangeable with my facial expression on the road or at the customer service desk while returning merchandise?
Recently I got an email from an acquaintance with this little proverb stuck at the bottom. “If you can’t be a good example, you will just have to be a terrible warning.” Yup! I would say that about sums it up. Now think it over. I’ll let you decide on your own which shoe fits you.