Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is your motivation?

Have you ever been in a hurry to get home and realized that you were on empty and had to stop and get gas? That is what happened tonight. I had just picked up my daughter from practice and we made one quick
stop and I still had to fuel the car. I stopped at one of the local convenient stores and put my debit card into the pump and the message on the screen read "see cashier". That will make your day.

The wind is picking up and the sky seems to be threatening rain and I want to get home. I don't need to see the cashier, I need to get gas. However, to be able to get gas I will have to see the cashier. As I make my way into the store I notice that there are multiple lines in front of the cashiers. So, I decide on the like that looks the shortest and the fastest. I picked the best line. This lady was moving the people through quickly. I get to the number two position and when the person who is in front of me finishes I am thinking "my turn". At that very moment a lady from the other line cuts over in front of me. I am thinking "why did you just do that"? I am sure the look on my face was one of shock and unbelief. I do remember my mouth being open when she turns around and gives me one of those "what are you going to do about it" looks. To make matters worse, when she finishes she backs up two steps and allows a person who was behind her in the other line to get in front of my line. Now I opened my mouth. I asked "excuse me" to which she replied "I have been here longer than you have". My response was: "you were in the 'other' line".

While she is telling me how much time she has been in line the cashier rings up the new person at the front of the line (Why did the cashier do that?). To add icing to the cake, once the new customer finished her transaction, the original line cutter begins a conversation about the weather with the cashier. Give me a break! How many more interruptions can there be? I just want to get some gas and go home.

My question here is "what problems did I actually encounter"?
  • A technology problem.
  • A impatient person.
  • A rude person.
  • A cashier who doesn't care about forcing fairness.
This combination with my impatience could have led to a really bad scene. I kept thinking about the whole scenario throughout the process. This is a picture of western culture today. People are self-centered, rude, have no concern for their neighbor, and unwilling to make a stand for what is right. However, I do believe we need to address the issue when presented but we need to watch how we present our objections in the process. This could have been handled in three different ways:
  1. I could have cleared the twinkies off the shelves while yelling at the top of my lungs what I felt about each individual and their part in the process. (Ask me about my Lowes experience)
  2. I could have done nothing.. (It is called passiveness. Not always the best option)
  3. I could have expressed concern over what had happened in a non-threatening manner to everyone involved. (Is this what you would do?)
There are a few things that come to my mind when I encounter these types of interactions with others. They are:
  1. Man has been created in God's image. (If we hate someone, do we not hate the image of God?)
  2. Ephesians 4:29 says: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Too often when we feel wronged, this is not they way we want to react.)
  3. James 3:13-18 says: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (Wisdom only comes from the father in heaven. Therefore, our reactions need to be driven by Him as well.)
These notes show an example of motivation. What motivates you to do the things you do? If you are defending your faith - make a stand at whatever cost. If you are defending someone or something for their safety or betterment - make a stand at whatever cost. However, if our motivation is self-centered and self-focused then there is very little we can do to make things better in that situation. It is wise to make your concerns known, but understand that if someone has done something wrong they will usually stop at nothing to save face. That night, to me, wasn't a hill worth dying on.

Check your motivation then count the cost.

In Christ,
Doug Johnson

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