My son and I were at the Krispy Kreme drive-through, coupon in hand. We were moments away from warm, frosted doughnuts, but something was askew with the coupon I was trying to use. I wanted chocolate frosted but the coupon was for glazed. I put up quite a fuss to get my discount and my snarky persistence paid off with a box of chocolate frosted goodness.
Pulling away victorious, doughnuts in hand, my boy looked at me and said, “Mom, you were really mean to that lady.”
Ugh! Caught! As I quickly did a mental rewind, I knew he was right.
“Buddy, I sure was. Will you forgive me for talking to her like that?”
“Sure, Mom. Can I have a doughnut?”
As he ate his circle of deliciousness, I silently asked God to forgive me for modeling behavior I would never tolerate from the young man sitting next to me. I thought that was done, but the Holy Spirit laid his hand on my heart, prompting me to return and apologize to the girl at Krispy Kreme.
With the store already disappearing in my rearview mirror and using the traffic zipping by at breakneck speeds, I justified why I didn’t need to go back.
The Holy Spirit wasn’t having any of it.
For three days, he kept the pressure on until I couldn’t stand it anymore.
Back at Krispy Kreme, I asked for Rose. (Of course, I could remember her name.) She came from her position at the drive-through window to greet me at the counter.
“Hi,” I said as friendly as I could. “You waited on me at the drive-through three days ago, and I was very rude to you. I came to say I was sorry.”
She looked at me for a second, tilted her head and said, “I don’t remember you.”
Slightly taken aback, but committed to making amends, I stammered, “Well, I remember you, and I have come back to apologize.”
“Ooooo-kay, is that all you need from me?” she said.
Now I felt really awkward.
“Well, yes, I am sorry. I shouldn’t have talked to you like that. Will you forgive me?”
“Fine. It’s not a big deal.”
Out of my mouth pops, “It is a big deal! My God loves you too much to let me talk to you that way.”
Even as it came out of my mouth, I thought, That’s a strange thing to say to her.
I would love to tell you that God broke through, and she cried, and I cried, and she surrendered her life to Jesus, but that isn’t what happened.
She looked at me as if I was an alien, then said with an attitude of indifference, “Whatever!”
Then she turned on her heel and went back to her position at the window, leaving me standing there stunned.
What in the world? God, why would you drag me back here to be humiliated and embarrassed if you weren’t going to use this for your glory?
God’s best for me
But then I realized my apologizing wasn’t necessarily about Rose or her salvation. While I hopefully planted a seed on her journey of faith, the action was about me learning to keep a clean slate with God. And because we represent him to others: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
When the Holy Spirit nudges you to make things right, and you do, and you don’t get the result you expect, take heart. You’re getting a better result. A result that is making you more like Jesus.
So the next time you feel the Holy Spirit nudge you, don’t wait. Humble yourself and be obedient. You’ll become a better disciple and a really good ambassador.
When was the last time God called you to go or do or say something to keep a clean slate with him?
Verse for today: Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” —Matthew 16:24
Prayer: Father, give me the courage to do what you ask of me for my own good and your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.