It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
1 Corinthians 13:5,7 (AMPC, emphasis added)
One way we stress ourselves out on a daily basis is dealing with people in the wrong way. We have to learn how to start living by the spirit and not by the flesh. The flesh does everything opposite of what God wants, and it does this because it is sinful. Galatians 5:16 (NLT) says, So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Your flesh wants to hold a grudge, cuss somebody out, let them have a piece of your mind, give them the silent treatment, etc. The world tells you to act in the same way—eye for an eye. If we act the same way that the world does, how does that set us apart as God’s holy people? I know, because I’ve been there most of my life, how people can just send you over the edge with how they act; and I know how badly you want to just let them have it. I get it! But I know the other side and I know how that side actually wins the hardest of hearts. That side is walking in love. I know you are thinking, “Walking in love! They don’t deserve that after how they treated me.” That’s the devil sitting on your shoulder feeding you lies. Think of Jesus…He was abused, talked about, spit on, lied on, beat up, and ultimately crucified, but what did He do? He prayed for those people on the cross and asked God not to hold it against them. If Jesus can pray for people who mistreated Him, what more should we do when we think we are treated unfairly!
We need to understand that people are human and they have bad days and let their emotions rule them just as we do. I’m sure you’ve had a bad day and some innocent person felt your wrath. Hurting people hurt people, but most of the time they might not even know what they are doing or how it may be affecting you. This is why you need to strengthen your love walk and do exactly what 1 Corinthians 13:7 says. When you are dealing with a difficult person, believe the best of them FIRST and don’t hold their behavior against them. Give them the benefit of the doubt just as you would want someone to do for you. Pray for them and if they need to be confronted about their behavior in love, God will tell you the right time and give you the right words to say. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that we aren’t to pay attention to the suffered wrong. In other words, do not hold a grudge. Sometimes you just have to blow stuff off. I will admit that it is very difficult to do at first, but with more experience, it will become easier and easier.
The devil uses people to set you off, but once you realize that this is one of his many tactics, it will help alleviate stress because you know how to handle it. The devil wants you to fly off the handle, which is the direct opposite of what God wants you to do (see James 1:20); but the best way to defeat him when you are dealing with difficult people is to do what Romans 12:21 says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (NLT). The devil doesn’t know what to do with a Christian who actually does what the Bible says and acts godly in seemingly godless situations. Doing good in these situations is walking in love and having compassion. Your flesh will fight you, but your spirit will strengthen you. One of my many prayers in the morning is, “God, help me to walk in love today and help me to be kind to people.” You don’t have to live by how people make you feel all the time, especially when God is willing to help you act more like Him.
Save yourself a ton of stress and lack of good days by continuously walking in love regardless of how people treat you or how they may act. Bad moods don’t last forever. I used to get really rattled when people got on my nerves (and it didn’t take much) and it would affect my mood beyond measure and just ruin my day. I’ve learned to recognize the spirit that is working in people, ignore them if I have to, pray for them, pray for God to help me be kind to them, and go on about my day. And I can tell you the honest to goodness truth, it works! God will eventually deal with them about how they treated you, but you can still live in peace, be civil to them, and have a good day until He does. We have to learn how to outdo the devil, and the secrets are in the Bible. In this case, the secret is to walk in love on a DAILY basis. The devil hates that, but God loves it and will bless you for it. What better deal is that—to have peace, a good day, and be blessed by God all for walking in love. That beats anger, frustration, irritation, and a ruined day every time. Take the time to study love in the Bible, and ask God to help strengthen you to be able to walk out of your door every morning and walk in love!
*I have written a blog titled “It’s Not People” in the August 2015 archives. It discusses how the devil uses people to get you out of the will of God. Click for the blog https://latoyajyadon.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/its-not-people/ *