We All Need a Little Grace Now and Then…

phone operatorOur internet hasn’t been working right so I called customer non-service the other night to report our problem.  I got a recording that told me they would call me back between one hour and four minutes and one hour in forty-seven minutes.  Being the optimist that I am, I thought, “OK”.  I figured they had over- estimated and would be calling me in 10 minutes.  However, it was even longer than the one hour and forty-seven minute mark which meant my phone rang after I had been in bed for quite some time.  I groggily answered and was informed I was, “Next in line, so when Lori Kempton (a recording of my own voice) was on the line, please press one.”  I did and was told, “Please hold”.  So I proceeded to hold for the next five minutes.

Then when the rep from my phone company answered from somewhere obviously in a foreign country, she said, “Can I ask who is speaking?”

I said, “Lori Kempton.”

She said again, “Can you please tell me who I am speaking to?”

I’m thinking, “You called me on my home line you provide and made me confirm already that it was me…five minutes ago…before you were even willing to put me on hold.   Why are you asking again?”

I answered a little louder, but trying not to wake up Jim, “Lori Kempton.”

Then she proceeded to say, “We have a bad connection.  I can’t hear what you’re saying!”

I haven’t been feeling well lately and actually to be honest, have been pretty grumpy which is totally out of my nature. At that point, I got totally frustrated and just said, “Forget it.  Please don’t call me back again.”  I haven’t been able to sleep lately and the last thing I needed was to be frustrated at 11:00 at night when I was trying to get to sleep!

I hate it when someone frustrates me to that point.  I feel at times like the world is watching and waiting for me to mess up.  I certainly wouldn’t have disappointed them that night!  Let’s face it…I’m only human.

Then on the other hand, you can be doing everything to the best of your ability and still have someone criticize you.  We were at the store yesterday and needed to be directed to the right area for our purchase.  A salesman saw we were lost, asked Jim how he could help and walked with us to the right department explaining along the way how everything was set-up.  He asked if we needed help from there and so Jim said, “Sure, if you can.”  The guy said, “Sorry, it isn’t my department so I’m not permitted to help.”  I’m sure his next step was to get us a salesman who could, but Jim told him he would be fine from there and we parted.

I heard someone behind me say, “That was terrible that the guy helping those people just said, “It’s not my department, I can’t help. What kind of customer service is that?  That is like saying, “No, it’s not my job to help you.”

In my mind, the employee had been very helpful but had just gone as far as he was permitted by his company to go.  However, the onlooker didn’t have all of the facts.  He had no idea how helpful he had been since he only witnessed his last statement to us.

I pray that I never become that person that judges someone…especially without all of the facts.  However, I humbly admit that at times I fail.  It’s easy for us to look at other people’s lives and criticize.  However, we really do need to stop and consider the grace extended to each and every one of us when we feel like hurling a rock of judgment at someone.  It’s an ugly spirit and one that needs to be tamed immediately.  Lest any of us forget we are all sinners…imperfect beings…in need of a Savior full of grace.

I think we’ve figured out that my grumpiness as of late has been born from a medicine that I was on not agreeing with me.  If you were on the receiving end of my conversation the other night with customer non-service, you might have judged me as being impatient or unfriendly.  When the fact is, I am typically a very patient person full of vim and vigor when I am not in a toxic situation with medications.

I, on the other hand, judged the operator on the phone immediately when I knew she was a foreigner.  She couldn’t help it her company didn’t provide her with the tools to do her job.  You would think a phone company could have given her a clear phone line to serve their customers!  It wasn’t her fault.  She may have been really good at her job.

Have you ever judged someone and felt bad afterwards?  Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of criticisms that have no truth to what is really going on in your life?  I think we have all been there at one time or another…on both ends of the spectrum.

So a reminder to us all of what I have learned from these life lessons. Before forming an opinion, stop and get the facts.  If there isn’t the ability to make a good enough connection to understand the truth, don’t judge by the little that you did hear or see.  Remember, any one of us can easily fall into the traps set before us that bring frustration and cause us to fail before others.  Guard yourselves against the temptations. Lastly, don’t forget…none of us are perfect.  We all are in need of the Grace that only our Savior, Jesus Christ, can give.

He never forgets our name.

He is always ready to connect.

He knows the whole story about us and He still loved us enough to die for us.

His Grace covers all…

Have a great week and don’t forget…get out there and be a blessing!

Matthew 7:1  (NKJV) Judge not, that you be not judged.

2 Corinthians 12:9 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

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