What are you modeling for your kids?

Mother with child checking out at store

Mother with child checking out at store

Recently I had a crazy busy day, that morning I had already made 3 stops and my next one was the dollar store. Our local dollar store normally opens at 9:00 am and I was getting there around 9:40 am.  I started to walk in when two employees that were sitting just a few feet from the door said, “sorry we aren’t open yet, the person with the key hasn’t shown up yet”. The older lady, went onto say she normally manages a different location but was called in to help at this location today. The young male, light-heartedly said, “yeah and I even got here early this morning!” So, I knew as disappointed as I was that I might have to wait a couple extra minutes to get in, these poor workers had both been there waiting for close to an hour. Slowly other people came up, so I started explaining the situation as people approached the store. I felt bad for the workers, so I was hoping if other customers understood the situation they would be more sympathetic. Finally, I heard one of the workers say “here comes the person with the key”. The poor lady that showed up with the keys, had a terrible rash, was not feeling well and certainly wasn’t the person that was originally supposed to open. I totally got the feeling from the other workers this lady was a trooper for getting up and coming in to get everything opened up for this store. I got my couple of items I needed and started to walk over to check out along with another man that was also ready to check out. The young male worker, step to the register and very apologetically explained it might take another 3 to 5 mins to get the registers up and running. Well just as he said that a lady that had not waited outside, but had just came in as they had unlocked the doors, with a couple of small children, started going off loudly! She was now ready to check out as well. She was harshly scolding this young male, letting him know they shouldn’t have open the doors if they were not ready to do business. Letting him know how unprofessional that was and that this was a dollar store, so this should be a quick stop for people. She went on about how inconsiderate they were of her time and everyone else’s time. I was the closest to her so she kept looking over at me as she ranted. (moments like these, sometimes I wish I was more of a confronter) We let her check out first as she continued her barrage on the poor worker… all this in front of her two small children. The young man showed nothing but patience and kindness. As she left she leaned in to see his name tag, called him by name and said, “thank you for your help, I am sure not all of this was your fault!” I am surprised the whole store didn’t break out into applause when she left. I think we were all just taken back by this lady’s verbal assault on this young man.

I checked out after her, once she was out the door the young man looked at me and said, “could she have been anymore harsh?”  He wasn’t mad, he looked sad. I agreed with him and then jokingly said, “she didn’t even have to wait outside with the rest of us.” He laughed. I told him he was doing a great job under the circumstances and I acknowledge he had a rough start to his day but that I really did hope the rest of his day went incredibly well! Thankfully as I left I heard the customer behind me joking with the young clerk as well.

With me studying the fruits of the spirit over the last few weeks, these two people really stood out to me.

Love, Joy, Kindness, Peace, Goodness, Patience, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control.

When I got back in my car and started it, the time said 10:02 am.  I then realized that lady couldn’t have gotten to the store before 9:50 am, because that’s what time the lady with the keys showed up. The lady that demonstrated NOT one of the fruits of the spirit, was probably in the store for 8 or 9 minutes, total!  The young clerk, demonstrated ALL the fruits of the spirit, which is amazing considering how unfairly he was being treated. Which is a reminder, it’s not about our circumstances but our reaction to our circumstances!

I don’t know what this lady’s circumstances were or how bad of a morning she had already had, but I don’t know if anything justifies treating someone else so poorly. As a parent I was reminded, the best way to teach our kids is by modeling the fruits of the spirit in our everyday life… kids will more often do what we do, not what we just say to do!

May you and I demonstrate the fruits well this week!

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