When The Kid Behind You Kicks Your Seat

Nov 16, 2016, 5:36 PM |

by HJS

How do you handle petty annoyances? You board a long flight and settle in with a book. Behind you is a six-year-old boy who gives your seat a firm kick, then another, and another. You turn around and glare at the kid, who ignores you. His mother is oblivious to the whole thing, a headset clamped over her ears. 

How would Jesus handle this annoyance? Would He (a) ignore the kid, (b) would He quietly get the mother's attention and ask her to put a stop to the kicking, or (c) would He simply get up and move to another seat?

There are a number of incidents in the course of Jesus' years of public ministry that give us clues as to what He might have done. There were times when Jesus chose to ignore irritation. Isaiah wrote that He would be oppressed and afflicted ". . . yet He did not open His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). At other times Jesus urged direct confrontation. He told the disciples, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you" (Matthew 18:15).

Sometimes Jesus simply walked away from people who irritated Him. After He began His ministry, the Pharisees increased the rhetoric. Jesus quietly took the disciples and moved to Galilee.

We also know how He chose not to respond to annoyance. He never retaliated in any way. But He did give us a rule of thumb, saying " Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

Simply treat the other person - the one who thoughtlessly irritates and annoys you - the way you would like to be treated.


Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you. do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.  MATTHEW 7:12