Yesterday I was at work and walked into see a patient and he immediately started hollering, swearing and was very loud. Now, I had NO CLUE why he was angry at me as I hadn’t had time to do anything for or to him, whether it was good or bad. I felt like telling him off, that he was out of line for swearing and hollering at me, and having him removed from the clinic. But, God has helped that part of me so that I was able to step back and calmly introduce myself and tell him I did not know what was going on but I was there to try to help him if he could explain why he had come to the urgent care. He continued with his prior behavior, but not quite so loud. Rather than do as the soldier in me wanted and tell him to shut up a minute, I let him continue. AND…it persisted, one nurse overheard him and I knew that I would be doing one of two things: walk out the door or respond to him with a harsh tone. I also knew that how I left would make a difference. Well, the nurse came and asked if there was an issue. I explained that the patient was upset and I did not have a chance to find out why, but it was obvious he needed a few minutes so I was going to step out so could speak to him and I would be back shortly to try to help him. The nurse spoke with the patient a couple minutes and had pretty much the same type interaction as I had had but also said that “the doctor will be in to see you in just a couple minutes to try to help you.”
I gave him another minute or two and then went back into the exam room. The interaction started the same, I let him vent for a moment or two and when he finally stopped talking I said, “I understand you are having quite a bit of pain and sometimes that becomes frustrating. I want to help you and will do what I can to make the pain better. It would help me if you would explain about your pain, where it is, how it started and if anything makes it better or worse.But when you yell and swear it makes it harder for us to find out what is wrong and see how I can help.” He paused a moment and then spoke again, a little less harsh. As the encounter continued he calmed further, was easier with whom to communicate and after some treatment he had less pain and the interaction improved further.
After it was all done, he felt better and while never what I would call extra nice, he was civil and explained that one nurse had apparently been rude to him and that is what “pushed him over the edge.” I apologized for the problem he had with her, finished taking care of him and he was released. Just before he left, he thanked me and apologized for his words and behavior. I could have lectured him, but simply stated I was glad I could help him and that I understood as I have had bad pain before and it can cause one to behave in ways that are not normal for them.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Now, this time, the interaction went pretty well however there have been times when I would have been more likely to say, “Okay, I know you are in pain, but it does not excuse such behavior or language and if you can’t stop we will have to ask you to leave.” While true, as I believe people have a responsibility to not behave as he was acting but I also realize that demanding he behave a certain way that was more appropriate would have escalated things rather than improving his behavior.
I must admit that in the past, not only would I have possibly “copped an attitude” and responded harshly to his behavior, I more likely than not would have done so. Oh, I could say it was because in my position I deserve to be treated respectfully or that because of other issues I did not respond well to such interactions. None of that matters as far as why I used to be likely to respond one way instead of the way God would have me respond but my attitude was different. I didn’t start arguments but I sure looked for excuses to take offense. I was bitter and angry all the time. The change in my behavior and attitude is not thanks to me, but to the impact that Christ has had on me. HE has changed me and my attitude, my behavior.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Yes, thanks to CHRIST I am a new creature. My attitude and behavior has changed. My heart is softer towards others and towards myself as well. What an amazing God we serve that can make such changes. He delivered me from sin and from myself. He replaced the anger and sadness with joy, the hate with love.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Those who know me: family, friend, coworkers and acquaintances have all seen the difference and some have commented about it to me, others I have overheard say things. Such is the power of Jesus on ones life.
Lord, I praise You and give Christ the glory for the changes in my life, for the ability I am learning to use soft answers when others are harsh. You have made my life better in so many ways. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue Your work in me and help me continue to improve as I know while I am better than I was, I am not yet the person You want me to be for You. Help me to put self aside and show You in me as I go about my days. Help me be Your light in a dark world. I ask that You draw me and my loved ones to You help us know You better, to know Your will and way for us and help us take the steps that You would have us take.
I hope everyone has a great day and are blessed as you go about your business. Try to be a blessing to someone. As always, I appreciate your time to visit and read my ramblings.