Choosing Love over Anger
By Harold Klemp
A woman worked with a person who seemed to take great pleasure in insulting her. Some people in this world form friendships by making fun of their friends. It’s a strange thing.
One day this woman went to a restaurant with her coworkers. The man began to insult the ECKist in a friendly way. She decided she couldn’t take any more. Normally she’s a quiet, soft-spoken person who hardly ever shows anger. But this time she flared up.
“If you couldn’t insult me,” she said to the man, “you wouldn’t be able to think of one thing to say.” The man was shocked. She got really angry and kept at him, talking louder and louder until people in the restaurant began looking around to see who was causing such a scene.
After the man and his wife had left, the ECKist stood with her husband and a friend out in the parking lot. “You were right to defend yourself,” the friend said. “If he can dish it out, he better be able to take it.”
“You’re a saint to have been able to put up with him all these years,” added the husband.
As they were talking, the woman’s eyes kept going to a particular license plate on a nearby car. The license plate was enclosed in a frame and on the bottom of the frame were the words “Love their faults.”
The friend continued, “Maybe this will teach him a lesson.” And the license-plate frame caught her eye again: Love their faults.
Finally it hit her. She started laughing. Her husband and the friend couldn’t understand why she had suddenly gotten over her anger.
“Look at that license-plate frame,” she pointed. “The ECK is trying to tell us something.”
The whole license-plate frame read: Geologists love their faults. But she had read just the bottom part of the frame, Love their faults.
The woman knew it had been right to draw the line with this coworker, but she felt she could’ve done it with love instead of anger. Because when we act with anger, we’re acting from power. And when we act with love, we allow the other person to understand how we feel.
We let the other person know that he is not necessarily bad, but we do not want him to practice that sort of behavior in the future. Otherwise he will lose our friendship. It’s very clean and very unemotional. It takes the anger out. It’s spoken with love, the kind of love that is called charity in the Christian Bible.
Excerpted from Stories to Help You See God in Your Life, ECK Parables, Book 4.