One aspect of that job that bothered me a great deal was the way some customers who claimed to know Christ behaved when things didn’t go the way they think they
should have. One youth leader (a paid staff member of a rather large church in the area) waited until Wednesday to call to see if books for a Bible study were available for that Sunday—and when we didn’t have the required number, he was upset with us! The problem was his own failure to plan ahead, but he exhibited a very un-Christlike attitude toward others.
One minister who had a very inflated idea of his own importance displayed a great
deal of impatience and rudeness toward the new employee behind the counter who
was trying her best to satisfy him. He made it clear that he was the pastor of
such-and-such church, and other customers completing their purchases at the same time were overhearing all of this. We did our best to make him happy, but
I am not sure that anything or anyone could have accomplished that feat on that
day. Least of all were we able to help him salvage his personal testimony as it crashed and burned before all those strangers that day. And every one of them
heard him loudly declare the name of his church!
Yes, I know—everyone has a bad day every once in a while. If this were an isolated incident, I wouldn’t even be writing about it. But it happened with enough regularity that it makes me pause and wonder if we Christians have somehow
forgotten that we are giving a witness before others when we are out in public.
We witness for Christ by the ways that we interact with others, by the way we treat them, and particularly when something upsets us. Nothing turns people away from Christ any faster than a Christian who is acting like a spoiled brat.
So, Brothers and Sisters, this is a plea to us all that we recognize the seriousness of our responsibility to be kind to one another—in our homes, in our churches, and especially in our communities. There is simply too much at stake, and time is running short.
–Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com