Definition of PATRON3: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment
Ever been in a line at the store or sitting in a restaurant when suddenly you hear a customer being down right rude and mean to the employee helping them, or worse, another customer?
What about not even really acknowledging the person helping you, but just treating them as a gateway to get the stuff you want/need NOW?
Maybe you’re on a phone call with a customer service representative and they anger you, so you rip into them?
Sadly, it happens. We’re human, so naturally we make mistakes. We get sensitive or angry about something and we want to blame someone and throw a tantrum until it is fixed. But what kind of message are we sending out as Christians when we do this?
Think about it, what is the person on the other side going through that day? What if it’s a new job and they are just learning? What if it’s a single Mom working 3 jobs just to support her children and ill parents? I mean, yeah, sometimes the other person is just a jerk and could care less… But shouldn’t we show even them our love? And what about those who are with us when we act this way… We are humiliating our friends, family, & setting a poor example for our children. For some, we are the only Bible they will ever read. What if their idea of a Christian is skewed because of our bad temper?
So, how exactly can we minister? How can being a patron be a calling? Well, it’s actually not difficult at all. Here are a few tips:
- Pray: Say a quick simple prayer before you leave the house. Ask God to bless those that you come in to contact with and to let his light shine through you. Request extra patience too…
- Smile: Do it as much as you can. You never know who will have a better day just because you smiled.
- Take Deep Breaths: When you do encounter someone who is rude, showing poor customer service, or just seems to not know or care about anything going on around them, take a few good deep breaths before you say something and utter a prayer under said breath.
- Be Kinder Than Necessary: Same idea as smiling…
- Say Please & Thank You: They really are magic words that go a long way! Your 3rd grade teacher wasn’t kidding!
- Use Names & Titles Where Applicable: Let them know you see them as an individual.
- Show Respect & Say “God Bless You” Or Something Similar: Make it difficult for them to be rude to you. Dory (Finding Nemo) says “Just keep swimming”. I would add, once again, “Just keep smiling”.
- Try Really Hard Not To Be A Hypocrite: Because when you act out, it really hurts the other person’s view point of Christians. Especially if you have a “Forgiven” tattoo, John 3:16 key chain, and a fish emblem on your car.
- Never Let Them Walk All Over You Either: If the need arises, stand your ground. Just do it as nicely as possible.
I won’t lie, this was hard for me to write. I, myself, have a problem with this from time to time. I’m GUILTY! YES! I said it! And if I’m the only one that learns from this, that’s okay… Because I needed to be reminded.
Thank you for reading! God bless! 😉