The other day I walked into a store and asked the girl behind the counter a question. Her response was kind of snippy and not very friendly. I started to feel a slight defensive reaction coming up in me, but decided to ignore it and continued to be kind and friendly with her despite her demeanor. Eventually, she started talking to me and opened up about what was going on in her life. She was stressed out and began to cry. I asked her if I could pray with her and she readily agreed. She thanked me for coming in at that very moment and for the encouragement.
I walked out of there realizing how powerful my choice had been. It made all the difference in being able to minister to her, rather than be offended at her initial behavior. It came down to walking in the Spirit (God’s way of doing things) or walking in the flesh (Jerriann’s way of doing things.)
It also was a great reminder, that you never know what people are going through and don’t be so quick to judge, be offended, or give someone a piece of your mind!
Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world.” As Christians, we are representatives of Christ, and should be a beacon of light in the darkness of this world. People should see something different in us. We should have a sparkle in our eyes and a smile on our face, because we have Jesus living on the inside of us! Others should “follow the light” when they see us. We shouldn’t look like the world: beaten down, hopeless, depressed, angry, etc. When we stay in consistent fellowship with God, through prayer and spending time in His Word, that’s where our light comes from - our hope in Him!
You never know what just a smile can do for someone hurting and feeling rejected or worthless. I’m usually a focused person on what I’m doing, liking running in the store to pick up something, or dropping my kids off at school. In the past, I usually wasn't aware of those around me. I wasn't trying to be rude, I was just focused on the hundred things I had to get done that day and in my own little world. But now I take the time to look at the people I shop near, drive by, sit by, and be ready to speak to them or even just give a smile. I’m looking for opportunities to be a blessing!
One time I saw this beautifully dressed elderly lady walking to her car in a Walmart parking lot. I said to her, “Well, don’t you look beautiful today!” She stopped and looked at me and said, “I haven’t been told that in so long! Thank you. You have made my day!” How much effort did that take me to give someone a kind word? Just a little boldness to speak up, is all! A smile barely takes any work on our part, but could bring warmth to a hurting heart.
Become aware of those around you and be sensitive that you have the ability to show kindness and the love of God everywhere you go. Remember, you are God’s representative here on earth! So, get your smile on and be a light to those you come in contact with today!