The Scripture says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, NIV). You never overcome disrespect with more disrespect. You never get ahead by doing to others the wrongs they did to you. That’s a test of your character. God is seeing what He can trust you with. Will you be the bigger person and overlook the insult? Will you stay on the high road and not get baited into conflict? You only have so much emotional energy each day. It’s not an unlimited supply. It takes a lot of energy to get upset, to live offended, to think about what someone said about you, and to try to straighten them out. That’s energy you need for your dreams, to pursue your goals, to enjoy your family. Don’t spend it on things that don’t matter.
You can’t control how everyone treats you, but you can control how you respond. When someone is rude, you don’t have to get upset. When they cut you off in traffic, that doesn’t have to ruin your morning. When a coworker leaves you out, you can’t control that, but you can stay in peace, knowing that God is fighting your battles. When you take the high road, you’ll not only enjoy your life more, but you’re showing God that He can trust you with more influence and more favor. Don’t go the next twenty years letting the same situations upset you, the same coworker get on your nerves, or the same grumpy relative steal your joy. They may not change, but here’s the key: You can change.
Sometimes we’ve trained ourselves to respond a certain way. “If they say this, I’m going to get upset. If they leave me out, I’m going to leave them out. If my crazy uncle makes fun of me, I’m going to tell him off.” The problem is, you’re letting them control you. If they perform a certain way, it’s going to sour your day. Why don’t you take the controls back?
Stop allowing yourself to get upset. Someone can’t make you get upset; you have to give them permission to upset you. You have to make the choice. Some people know exactly what buttons they can push to get you bent out of shape. The next time they push those buttons, just smile and say, “Not this time. I’m staying in peace. I’m going to enjoy this day.”
If someone is disrespectful, rude, and always finding fault, they have issues they haven’t dealt with. They end up with bitterness, anger, and insecurity bottled up inside. Sometimes that poison will try to spill off on you. You have to stay on the offensive. “They may be rude, but I’m not taking the bait. I’m staying calm. I’m going to be respectful, despite how they treat me.” Or “My boss celebrates everyone except me. He gives others credit for my work, but I’m not going to live sour. I’m not working unto people. I’m working unto God.”
Prayer for Today
Lord, Give me strength to overcome evil with good, to respond with kindness amid disrespect. Help me to maintain my character and to pass Your tests with honor. Let me be the bigger person, able to overlook insults and avoid needless conflict. Allow me to save my energy for my dreams, my goals, my family. Remind me that while I cannot control others’ actions, I can control my reactions. Even when faced with rudeness, let me remain peaceful, trusting that You are fighting my battles. Guide me along the high road, showing that I am worthy of Your favor and influence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.