Recently, I was talking with a friend about an issue she was having with someone she works with. She was very upset about how her coworker was spreading gossip and how she did not want to go to work because of this situation. She was beyond frustrated and she was ready to give her coworker a piece of her mind. She was venting to me and I understood how she was feeling. I have been there too. What about you? Do people ever get under your skin? I think most of us can relate to this. People talk about us behind our backs. We know people who lie and cheat to get ahead. Sometimes people will lie about us in order to make themselves look better. We are not strangers to being mistreated and unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes. It really should be no surprise to us, though. Jesus told us it would be this way.
How do you respond when people mistreat you? What do you do when others lie about you or skew the truth about something you said or did? Do you get angry? Do you call them up to give them a piece of your mind? Do you talk about them behind their back, complaining about how awful they are? Maybe you take the avoidance route and just try to stay away from them. Whew! This can be tough, because we want to defend ourselves and show those people a thing or two about how they should treat others.
My friend, as hard as it can be, we need to be givers of love and grace to the people who mistreat us. We need to take the high road and respond in a way that pleases God. On our own, this is not something we can accomplish, but God who is IN us can! God’s ways are not the ways of the world. His ways are not our ways….His ways are much higher than ours. (Isaiah 55: 8-9) If we are not careful, we can get caught up in our pride and say or do something we later regret, but when we allow Him to be Lord over the situation, we can respond His way! These verses are so helpful to me when I am struggling with this issue:
Strive to live at peace with others and seek to emulate Christ in how you deal with people who mistreat you. It would be so easy to “fly off the handle”, but Jesus told us not to do that. He showed us to respond with prayer, humility, love, kindness and forgiveness towards others.
When you feel tempted to let loose and tell someone how you really feel…think twice before you speak, and remember this verse from Proverbs 15:1, “ A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
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