Angry Pizza

I could smell it as I was driving down the road. The cheese! The pepperoni! And the banana peppers! I could see it in my mind. How picture perfect it would look!! The cheese melted. The crust is the right color of brown. The cupping of the pepperoni. Forget smelling it, I could taste it! I was on my way to one of my favorite places to get pizza. I ordered it online while working so that it would be ready on time. I did not want to go over on my lunch break. I had only so much time to drive there, drive back and then eat before getting back to work.
I pulled into the parking lot. It was busy and there was no parking. Mildly irritating, but I was determined. Plus with my small car, I could make room somewhere. I found a spot and I opened the door. The odor of pizza and fried food  hit me like a fine perfume. My mouth was watering. I go in and up to the counter.
“I'm here to pick up the pizza!”
“Were you the online order?”
“I'm sorry but we just got the order now.” 
Mentally thinking to myself, “Wait, what?!”
“But I placed it on your website 45 minutes ago.” I’m checking my watch now, worried about the time and being late going back to work. 
“I’m sorry. I think there is something wrong with our internet. It will still be another 15-20 minutes.”
“Ok, thank you” I said, walking away sullen and defeated. Another 15-20 mins! When it's already been 45!! Unbelievable!! I was so upset! I started getting heated. I was mad! Is this how you run a business?! Their website said it would be ready at this time. It has been 45 minutes, not 5! That's not very good customer service! I started thinking about what to do. Should I forget about it? Get my money back? Write a negative review on Google?! I’m sooo hungry!
Anger is an interesting thing, isn’t it? So many people reading this right now probably think one of two things; “Yeah that's right!! They are so wrong to lie to you like that saying it would be ready at this time when it wasn’t! Don’t let them take advantage of you like that!! You need to complain!” And then the other thought would be, “What’s the big deal? It’s pizza. Cool down and wait a little longer.” But in the heat of the right moment, all of us will swell with anger. It doesn’t matter how trivial it is to an outsider. To us it's a big deal! It’s right! It’s justified!
Yet, no matter how justified we may feel, we must realize that the vast majority of our anger is not justified. Matthew Henry had a great illustration about the right kind of anger when he said, “Wise anger is like fire from the flint; there is a great ado to bring it out; and when it does come, it is out again immediately.” John Stott also put it well by saying, “So there is such a thing as perfect hatred, just as there is such a thing as righteous anger. But it is a hatred for God's enemies, not our own enemies. It is entirely free of all spite, rancor and vindictiveness, and is fired only by love for God's honor and glory.”
 A good friend reminded me this past week of what God told Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4) I needed reminding of it. I believe that is a question we need to ask ourselves more often. Do we actually accomplish more, be better off, grow our spiritual knowledge and advance our faith by getting angry? We may feel better in the moment, but that is not what God means. Imagine the relationships destroyed, the bad reputations built and the horrible witness portrayed because of our anger. This is why the Bible warns us, “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20), “....Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” (Psalm 37:8) and “...he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)
Our words reflect Christ. As James tells us, the same mouth that praises God, should not also be cursing man. The same mouth that prays to God, should not be then getting short at their kids. The same tongue that sings their love to God, should not then be getting snippy with the guy at the counter. The same voice that expresses love to their heavenly Father, should not then be yelling at their earthly parents. No matter how justified we may assume we are in our anger. Think I'm wrong? Well, let us look to Christ. Think about all those hot angry words Jesus spewed out when He was unjustly arrested and taken to the cross. Oh wait…that’s right…He really didn’t say anything, did He? “...yet He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) As Chrysostom said, “No matter how just your words may be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.”
Let us get some wisdom in our minds by holding our tongues. When we feel ourselves getting heated inside, let's cool down by praying to God. Let us bite our tongue instead of using it as a whip. For it is a gentle word that is strong enough to break a bone (Proverbs 25:15). Speaking of; I got back to my car and shook it off. I knew it was pointless getting mad. I was tempted to blow up, even if it was by myself. Or I could write that bad review, couldn’t I ? I mean that is poor customer service. Shouldn’t other people know that they are not accurate with their online orders? Wouldn’t this be helping others? I rely on reviews from others when looking up a new place. So wouldn’t I just be paying it forward by warning others about this snafu? It is interesting how our heart can justify our sins. But I didn’t. I just waited patiently till it was ready. I got a phone call to come back in. It was ready. I walked back to the same counter greeted by the same girl. She had a smile on her face and said they were so sorry for the wait. And because of the miscommunication, they made me a larger pizza than I ordered at no extra cost to me. I was surprised! I thanked them for their generosity and left. And then it came to my mind; after their kind gesture, imagine if I did write that bad review!! Don’t succumb to your temper. Would you really do well to get angry?

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