A couple of years ago my wife and I were in a Costco store, now I usually prepare myself before going into any big box store.
Preparation looks something like this, “remember people can be rude, impatient, and they like to leave their carts in the middle of the aisle while they read the nutrition guide on every product in the freezer, so be the opposite, kind, patient and aware of the location of my cart.” I tell myself.
As long as I can remind myself that it’s ok and it’s not really that big of a deal, things generally go well.
Well on this day, it didn’t go so well, shoppers do what they always do, talk on the phone while hogging the whole aisle, leave their cart in the middle of a crowded aisle so they can get to the sale of the day, and have their family reunion at the end of an aisle where nobody can get by, you have to listen to how Susie treated Allan last weekend.
Maybe my patience was off, maybe I wasn’t in a good mood, maybe my tolerance level was low, whatever it was I needed to get out of that store.
We finally got to the checkout lines, and they were worse than the line to get on the latest roller coaster at Cedar Point.
They were so long you couldn’t tell where the line ends and where shoppers were still trying to get into the last couple of aisles.
In case you don’t know, my wife and I are foster parents and when we go to Costco we use two carts, we fill them up, we buy a lot of food.
So as we are jockeying for a spot in line an older woman pushes her cart up behind me, in front of my wife, at the same time more shoppers cut through the opening I had left for my wife to get next to me, so they could get to another line that had just opened.
This left her lost somewhere in the crowd of impatient people all waiting to pay, as we got closer to the checkout, things started to open up a little so I waved for my wife to squeeze through and find her way back to me, she did, we were back together again and almost out of this store.
However, the older lady behind me, the one that cut my wife out of the line to begin with, the one that wouldn’t give my heals room to walk, yeah her, says in what could have been a teenage girls hormonal mood swing “oh, that’s just perfect” honestly I was a little taken aback, I didn’t expect that even after she cut the line.
So I’m like “what’s the problem?”
“You wait in line while your wife continues to shop and then she cuts in line, I see how it is, nice move.”
Now, you should know that earlier that day I had mentioned to my wife that people tend to get stupid when they go into these stores, really stupid.
So this was after holding it in during the two hours of being in this store trying really hard to be nice and patient and this lady has the nerve to say to me that I’m helping my wife cut the line after she cut in behind me, the straw that broke the camels back.
I lost it.
“You see” I say loudly to my wife “stupid people, everywhere in this store” I’m getting louder now “they hog the aisle ways, they don’t care about anyone else” I’ve turned and now pointing at the lady ” they could care less about cutting the line and….”
“Calm down” pleads my wife Nancy.
“I will but I just can’t understand how this woman can cut and then excuse you of cutting” still preaching to the audience that are watching, “stupid people doing stupid things” I replied.
I took a deep breath and moved forward, as the line had progressed during my rant.
The woman obviously didn’t expect that either, her mouth was wide open, face was red but she was unapologetic.
Emotion levels go up and intelligence levels go down, I was way down.
She didn’t deserve that speech and Nancy didn’t deserve the accusation, not trying to justify my actions at all, I was ironically just as stupid as anyone else during that moment and I really do regret that episode.
Don’t you think it’s kind of funny that we find ways to justify our outbursts of anger? Even as Christians we do this, we say “well they deserved it” or “he was being a jerk” and sometimes we judge the one on the receiving end of our anger as if them not being a Christian makes it ok.
Here’s the truth, sometimes it is ok, yes I said it’s ok because sometimes you get mad for the right reasons.
That doesn’t mean you get to mistreat anyone or be a bully or talk down to people.
What it means is there are times when your God given emotion of anger can help you help others.
When Jesus walked into the temple courts and saw people exchanging money for product and treating it like it was marketplace He got upset, really upset, He threw over their tables and ran everyone out.
Was Jesus wrong to do it? No.
Not because we know that He never sinned, but because the people had turned the sacred temple into something ordinary. They had turned the act of sacrifice into a way of turning a profit, the people were supposed to be giving back to the Lord and instead they were treating it like a transaction.
So how should a righteous anger manifest itself?
Every situation is different but when Jesus threw over tables, it wasn’t a selfish anger, these people were disobeying God.
He didn’t hurt anyone he just drove them out.
This doesn’t mean that we can get behind the wheel and drive all the crazies off the road when they disobey the speed limit, what it means is we have the right to get upset sometimes.
How we react is the key, if your children disobey, they have a consequence. When you disobey, there should be a consequence, and when I disobey there should be a reward, uh I mean consequence.
When we see things happening in the world that go directly against what God said, we can get a little angry this shows that you know what’s right and wrong.
I see what happens to aborted babies and if I’m honest, this ticks me off, a lot.
I see what the equal rights people are doing and it infuriates me, take away my rights and give it to someone else, and somehow they call it “equal.”
I just want you to recognize the difference in the two types of anger.
One is selfish and the other one, if used as a motivator for good, can be very beneficial.
My anger in Costco was selfish and childish, the same way road rage is selfish and childish.
Jesus’ anger was righteous, in that He wanted keep His Father’s House sacred.
Thank you for reading, if you enjoyed this article please like and share it.
If you disagree with what I say please leave a comment and I will be happy to discuss the differences in opinion.
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