Handling Daily Frustrations
Lysa TerKeurst

"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop" Luke 8:15 (NIV)

Recently, I had a conversation with a customer service agent. I use the words "customer service" very loosely. There was not a lot of concern over me being a faithful customer nor any expressions of service.

Let’s just say, I wasn’t feeling the love. I remained calm, but it seriously took everything in me to do so.

I know the lady on the other end of the phone was just following procedure, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with a very simple request. It made no sense. It wasn't right. And it certainly did nothing to make me fond of this particular company.

Later on, I started thinking about the woman on the other end of the line. After my call, she probably moved on to the next frustrated customer. And then the next. And then the next. Suddenly, I felt so sorry for her. I decided it wasn’t her desire to not be able to help me. She was truly just following the orders of the higher-ups at her company.

I imagined her packing up her things at the end of another long day and heading home. A home where she is having to face her own daily aggravations and frustrations. That's when it hit me. While on the phone, I never pictured her as a person really. To me, she was just a voice on the other end of the phone that was causing me extreme frustration.

How might my reaction have been different if I’d stopped to think about her as a woman just like me? …What might it be like to be her, to live her life, and to have to go to her job everyday?

I decided God was trying to get my attention to be more aware of those around me, those that He loves dearly. Those that I, sadly, sometimes don't even see. In Luke 8:15 Jesus reminds us, "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” I want Jesus’ message to fall on a heart that is humble and fertile enough to:

Receive God’s word…

Retain God’s instruction, and…

Reflect God’s character in both my action and reactions.

When I stop to think about this I am challenged. Whether I am talking with a frustrating customer service representative that I don’t know or interacting with those I know and love, I must work towards being a woman who displays godly character. Just like Luke 8:15 encourages, whether I'm having a frustrating conversation or a friendly one, may God’s messages of truth have such an impact on me that my heart remains noble and good.

Dear Lord, It is easy to honor You with my carefully thought through actions but, sometimes much harder with my reactions. Even when I'm caught off guard, may Your love and patience be the spillover from my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog for an exciting Christmas Give Away today!

Do You Know Him?

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Use this formula for studying God’s word this week:

Receive God’s word … write out the verses you want to focus on.

Retain God’s instruction … memorize and internalize the truths you’ve been studying.

Reflect God’s character in both my action and reactions … focus on practicing the truths you’ve been learning.

This week as you interact with many people, how can you prepare your heart for reactions that honor God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 37:30-31, “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 13:1, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh thank you for this message. I am convicted as I sometimes refer to my three beautiful children as my "little frustrations." The message hit home as I have been working on "responding" instead of "reacting." Much to pray about and meditate on...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the message,we should always try our best to love and be patient with all of Gods people,always remember to be kinder than nessesary because eveyone you meet is fighting some kind of wicked battle. Is there someone whom you know that could really need some encouragment or some kind words? the best thing to do is call them,or find them, and do what God would want you to do!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy, your message today hit home. I was on the phone just yesterday with "customer service" with the call ending with me saying "I don't like your tone" and hanging up. I've been guilty ever since. For sure I need to prepare myself for these kinds of calls. Some handy verses at the ready!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i found out yesterday we're expecting our first little angel! i just found your blog today looking for devotions for mom's.. this one made me cry! thank you for your messages & encouragement. Blessings to you and your family!
- jayme from kentucky

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lesson is very appropriate for this time of year. Working part time Christmas help in retail, I have witnessed bitter and frustrated attitudes with customers, as well as, other co-workers. In one particular situation, the co-worker was angered by a request of the customer. I was caught off guard and wasn't sure what to say to the co-worker after the customer expressed her concern over the co-worker's attitude. It bothered me that night and later I prayed for that co-worker. This was not the first time she had acted this way. We don't know what is going on in the lives of others and we must learn not to take things personally. Praying for God to use us to share Jesus is His desire. He will provide us with the right words. Thank you for this devotional.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insightful devotional. As a customer service representative for our local utility company I am bombarded with upset customers most of the minutes that make up my work day. Though I am on the other end of the situation you described, it was very helpful for me to read your devotion and prayerfully re-commit to treating each individual as one that is loved by God. I am at a low point in my life right now and having the type of job I am blessed with can be a struggle at times. I do keep reminding myself to regard each person as God's precious creation and that I am blessed with a job that allows me to share His love to those that are sometimes unloving to me.

Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking devotion.


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