Christians. This word has a mixed meaning for many. To people who grew up in the church, to people who label themselves as Christians, it's just a word. It's a label. It means 'a person who believes in Christ.' To people who have been spurned by the Church (read: Christians who were not doing a very good job at reflecting Christ) the word Christian takes on a whole new meaning. It means hypocrite. It means holier-than-thou. It means rude, it means conceited, it means mean. I recently took two jobs in food service, and let me tell you, you don't realize what kind of unkind characters live in your hometown until you work in a restaurant.
It is so disheartening when someone comes through the register line to pay for their food, while wearing cross necklaces or cross rings or bracelets and t-shirts advertising for Christ, and they have some of the worst attitudes. I completely understand that on a human level, people do not mess around when it comes to their food. I know that you did not come to a restaurant expecting to wait thirty minutes for your food and then when it finally comes out, for it to be cold. I know that you didn't come to a restaurant expecting your server to act like you are a burden. I know. I'm truly sorry that you experienced this. No one deserves to be treated that way. However, there is an issue with the way you react. If you're going to advertise for Jesus, you need to channel your best Jesus spirit. Seeing true Christ is such a rare thing for non-Christians. They don't look for Christ anywhere, and when they do see 'Christ' they see him in the way your lips turn when they bring you a water without a lemon when you asked for lemon. I know. It's upsetting. You're paying money for this, after all. The least they can do is be respectful and bring you water with a lemon.
But here's the thing: the enemy is doing so much to defame Christians today. He is doing so much to make sure that when non-Christians look at Christians, all they see is a sour face and a bad attitude--because you've allowed yourself to have one. You have got to be deliberate when you advertise for Jesus. You have GOT to be the goodness, the kindness, the salt of this Earth. You are representing your GOD. And I know that it is such a huge undertaking, but I'll tell you what, I'm writing this article and it is 1:18 in the morning. I got out of work at 10:00, two hours after my original out time at 8:00, and I went to a bible study. I'd been thinking about this article for a while, but I said to myself, 'It's missing something.' And here was our verse to study for the night. 1st Peter 13-16 "13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Think on those verses for a few minutes. Let those sink in. When you go to the restaurant, with your cross prominently on display, and act like you are the most important customer in that restaurant, you are being exactly the type of 'Christian' that Satan wants the world to see. "Be holy, for I am holy." What a hard thing to do. As a Christian myself, I feel your struggle. I would be upset too, if I received the service you received! But it is so important to remember that anger should not be the emotion that wins. It should be peace. It should be understanding. It should be forgiveness. This was the ending thought for our Bible study, the closing in the book we are studying, "Putting On A Quiet and Gentle Spirit, 1 Peter," by Elizabeth George: "It's true that as Christians we've been granted a position in Christ. But it's also equally true that our relationship with Him calls us to a certain conduct, to certain practices and efforts, to conformity to His likeness, to conscious behaviors...and changes of behaviors." (pg. 33) If you remember nothing else from this article remember 1st Peter 13-16 and this paragraph. Our relationship with Christ requires a code of conduct and conscious behaviors and changes of behaviors. We must be aware of this as we live our lives. The enemy is awake and trying to destroy us. We must rely on Christ and arm ourselves with His love and His words to show others His light... and we cannot do that by yelling at the server who has already cried three times this shift.
Praise God, and pray.