Have you ever just left a small gift on someone's desk while they were out of the office - no note, no explanation, just something which might bless them on a day when nothing seems to be going right for them? What happens in the moment the person notices the gift upon their return? They ponder it, don't they? It gives them "cause to pause". There is this period of time between the "shock" of receiving the gift and the moment their curiosity causes them to ask, "Hey, who put this here?" For just a brief period of time, they stop focusing on the issues which made them so irritable in the first place, don't they?
14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person; a heartfelt present cools a hot temper. (Proverbs 21: 14 The Message)
Have you ever been on the receiving end of this type of "blessing"? If you have, you will definitely understand what I am about to say. The undeserved kindness of another "shuts you down", doesn't it? In the moment where you "pause" and "consider" the blessing, something "transformational" begins to happen.
In the tiniest of gifts, there can be the biggest of rewards! It would be easy to discount the moodiness of a coworker with huge deadlines looming, plans not coming together as they should, and "issues" just cropping up at every turn of the clock. Yet, isn't there something awesome in figuring out one small way to bless their day?
I have been on the receiving end of these types of blessings more than once. It may have been a lovingly written note just letting me know they were standing by me during the rough patch - thinking of me, there for me. It could have been the bit-sized candy bar labeled with "Break wrapper, savor the richness, and feel the stress melt away". At other times, it was just the nudge of a friend saying, "Let's go to lunch - you NEED lunch!"
Stress increases irritability, does it not? Do something to relieve the stress in a positive manner and it is a wonder how much of the irritability seems to "melt away". I think this was the premise of the Calgon commercials where the lady of the house is depicted as up to her ears in all kinds of chaos, then in a moment she announces, "Calgon, take me away!" The next scene finds her all "de-stressed" in a bath beads. It looks so simple, huh?
Irritability is a condition in which we are "readily excited" - almost to the point of being impatient and often to the point of being downright angry. It is not a good place to be. No wonder Solomon reminds us of the "cooling effect" of touching someone with our "heart". It is not the "gift" which releases the frustration and irritability - it is the "heart" behind it! So, the next time you can share a little of your heart with someone who is "readily excited" - do it! Your "gift" of heart can make all the difference to them!