"A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Prov. 15:1
Don't you just love to make a business call and get someone on the other end with a cheerful voice? You can just "hear" them smiling on the other end? You know immediately that the call is going to go better than you expected. On the other hand, when you get someone who just sounds like sour grapes when they answer, you don't hold out much hope for getting anything accomplished. Isn't it amazing how much power we hold to shape someone's day by our tongue!
My mother has been saying for a long time that she dreads getting the mail because every piece that comes brings a problem. I am beginning to agree with her. It seems our phone bill is NEVER right and each month the story changes. Our insurance went up with no e xplanation, yet our agent didn't have a clue! Even things as simple as ordering prescriptions by mail can turn into a real pain. And calling to correct the problems can turn into a real ordeal and really test your patience.
Our health insurance company requires us to order any recurring prescription by mail. My husband had a prescription that had been prescribed for him by his orthopedic doctor and we had placed one prior order from the mail order company. However, the nurse told us when she faxed in that prescription that he would need to go back to his primary care physician before the next order and get him to prescribe it. So, that is what we did and we did it well in advance...almost 3 weeks. When he was down to only one pill and we still had no prescription, I called to find out why. Long story short...the doctor's office had failed to order it til just this week!!! However, the mail order company told us that the doctor's office could call in an emergency supply to tide him over til the prescription came in about 10 days. I called the doctor's office and asked them to do that.
When I call, I NEVER get to speak with the doctor's assistant the first time. I always have to leave a message. When she does call, she is not really that pleasant. The first time she called, she told me the emergency supply had been called in and the new prescription had been faxed. When my husband went to pick up his prescription, however, they charged the full amount as opposed to the $5.00 co-pay we usually have to pay. He was not a happy camper and he left it there! So that meant another phone call the next day. After speaking with the insurance company and the prescription company by phone, I thought I had it resolved. But it was not to be. After several phone calls between the pharmacy and the prescription company, it was obvious that we were not going to get anywhere with them. So my next step was to call the doctor's office and ask for samples or SOMETHING since it was their fault in the first place! I was not very happy, to say the least. And I was not looking forward to dealing with the assistant.
When I called and got her voice mail, I so wanted to tell her in no uncertain terms that THEY needed to fix this problem as it was their fault and we should NOT have to pay the full amount because of their mistake. However, God replayed my earlier blog about being the fragrance of Christ, soooooooooooooooooooooo.... I spoke as politely as I could and explained the problem we were having, and asked if they could provide us with the samples. And you know what? An amazing thing happened. When the assistant called back, her whole tone had changed! She was very sweet, and called to tell me they had 15 samples for him (more than he needed) and fully sympathized with the problem and seemed truly happy she could help. I knew then that if I had taken the approach I FELT like taking, that would not have been the end result.
Our enemy makes it so easy to spout off and justify it...."we were right", "they deserve it", "they are stupid", "they were rude so I will give them more of the same", etc. But, I have found that even when one is rude to me, if I am kind and soft spoken to them, it usually will help to change their attitude. Not always, but sometimes. Although we think it feels good to answer rude with rude, are we displaying the character of Christ by doing so? I think not. But I know that I never witness someone being rude and hateful to a clerk, even if they brought it on themselves, that I don't think to myself how awful they look and sound. To put it bluntly, THEIR BEHAVIOR STINKS!!
Certainly there are times when we must not allow someone to run over us, or to take advantage of us. We must stand up for ourselves and for what is right. But we must remember to do it without adding offense to the situation. We must remember that we are Christ's ambassadors whether we are on the phone, in the line at the grocery, at the fast food restaurant or at the gas station.
Today let's remember the words of Solomon "He that keeps his mouth keeps his life, but he that opens WIDE his lips shall have destruction [of his testimony]." Proverbs 13: 3
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