Our world is a funny place… It’s filled with people who have feelings, who have opinions, whether right or wrong, justified or not… It’s filled with people who are each having their own personal struggle, their own battle, their own fight, their own mountain to climb. I’m not going to argue that the world is full of a bunch of pansy people who get butt hurt over the craziest crap! But it’s also full of a lot of very honest and good people that make honest mistakes due to a situation.
Driving down the road and a man cuts you off, is it possible that they learned that their wife cheated on them today? Or yesterday?
A woman flies by you jumps in front of you and slows down, maybe she’s swerving around in her lane, is it possible that she’s got a small child in the backseat that is screaming at her? “Mommy! Look!” “Mommy! I need this!”
You see that person texting or talking on the phone, is it possible that they are dealing with a life or death situation and they are needing to get where they need to be?
Maybe you went to a restaurant and your waitress was in a crappy mood and was slow getting around to taking care of your table… Is it possible that she had issues at home came to work in a crummy mood and then had to deal with customers who were being rude because their food came out cold, or they didn’t get the right food/drink?
Maybe that punk kid who harassed you at school, maybe their dad ended up in jail for beating his mother, maybe that’s all he knows is yelling and bullying to get his way… Maybe his dad would beat his mother and his mother would take her aggression out on him? Maybe on another note, maybe there was a death in the family and he treats everyone around him like crap because he’s afraid of losing people. I’ve been there… I can speak on that one…
I could list a million scenarios but my point being, you don’t know what is going on in someone else’s mind. Again, are the actions right or wrong? Are they justifiable or not? Maybe, maybe not… Maybe not to you or me… But each person’s perspective is also their own reality. It’s their personal battle. Sure maybe it’s not as bad as what you or I went through, really though, who’s to say it’s not as bad? Who are we to discount what they may be going through? We struggle with our own problems knowing people or at least knowing of people who have had it WAY worse than we have, yeah?
And you might argue that not everyone is having a bad day and some people are just jerks. I’m not going to disagree with that. My point is more so that you don’t know what is going on… Some people are really good at hiding it until something sets them off, so even though it may seem like they are fine, it’s a good probability they are torn up inside.
As crazy as it may sound it’s important to have the self-control to show that person compassion anyway, despite their actions. Does that mean you need to be a doormat? No. Does it mean we are supposed to lie low and take it? No. Do we have a right to defend ourselves, our family, our home and so on? Heck yes!
But there’s a time to walk away, there’s a time to respond in love and there’s a time to meet their resistance.
If someone is calling out threats or names, which I’ve seen adults do and I think it’s rather amusing… It’s like giving a 5 year old foul language… You come up with some interesting comments! But maybe, they are climbing their mountain, maybe things have gone to pot and they’ve lost it. And maybe a rude comment from you sends them over the edge… You find out later down the road that they committed suicide. It goes back to the idea that maybe a kind gesture from you keeps someone from hurting themselves…
Proverbs 12: 18 There is one whose foolish words cut like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
1 A gentle answer turns away anger, but a sharp word causes anger.
2 The tongue of the wise uses much learning in a good way, but the mouth of fools speaks in a foolish way.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but a sinful tongue crushes the spirit.
18 A man with a bad temper starts fights, but he who is slow to anger quiets fighting.
28 The mind of the one who is right with God thinks about how to answer, but the mouth of the sinful pours out sinful things.
Proverbs 16: 24 Pleasing words are like honey. They are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 18: 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
There are so many verses dealing with this stuff, and if I were to list them all it would take a good couple hours to go through them. It’s just something extra to chew on.
Overall though, once you start adopting this mindset of being aware of what other people might be going through, it makes it a simple process to allowing other people’s junk to roll off your shoulders. As people, we like to complicate things more than necessary.
Our job biblically, is to love as Christ loves.
Our job as decent human beings is to be kind regardless, be respectful regardless, but know that line between being an outstanding person and not being a doormat, or a punching bag. There’s still a point to defend yourself. But don’t take offense to it, don’t allow it to make you angry and keep you there.
Having the ability to control how you allow other people to affect you makes all the difference. Is it hard? Heck yes! Do I have my own ability to control how I allow people to affect me? Sort of… It’s not perfect. However, despite how much I might try to place blame on someone for “making” me feel a certain way, reality is, a door was opened and it was my choice to walk through it and shut the door behind me.
We have to learn to not walk through that door. To know that we have the power to see that door, close it and walk away and not allow that room to become our prison. Not hold onto that offense or frustration.
Anyway, I’m done now…