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franklin county times

But I didn’t

FRANKLIN LIVING MARCH-APRIL 2024

Recently social media personality Trent Tribe shared a brief video in which he tells the story of a lady who works at a business Trent frequents. When they met, this lady repeatedly fell short as it related to treating customers well. As Trent recounts the story, he talks about what he was tempted to say and do in response to her rudeness and negativity, but each time he was able to walk away saying, “But I didn’t.”

One day, rather than doing nothing, he asked for permission to give this negative worker a hug. In doing so he completely changed their interactions. As they built a friendship, she shared her own story. It turned out to be one filled with hurt, and in the end, he was able to minister to her.

Tribe’s video captured my attention because so many times instead of being able to say, “but I didn’t,” we end up having to lament, “I sure wish I hadn’t.” What if we could interact with people in a more self-controlled and selfless way? The Bible frequently calls us to exercise both self-control and selflessness.

Proverbs 29:11 states, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” James 1:19 mandates the following for Christians, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Those two passages serve as just two examples of many found in Scripture.

It is important to remember that opportunity is found in our interactions with people. Self-control and selflessness can result in opportunities for both ministry and sharing the good news about Jesus, and those are the things we have been put on this earth to do.

Is it easy to be selfless enough to interact this way? Absolutely not! But it is the way Jesus lived, and we have been instructed to follow Him. In 1 Peter 2:21-25 it says, “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” Perhaps knowing God will get it right will help us be better at responding more like Jesus would.

Of all the things we’ll likely think of saying or doing in response to those who mistreat us, how committed will we be to making better choices so that the story can always conclude with a celebratory “But I didn’t!” – or possibly even, “I’m so thankful I did!”?


Philip Goad has been serving as the minister at North Highlands Church of Christ in Russellville since March 2020.

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