“I’m so tired of being with unreasonable, unhelpful and bad-tempered people every day. I don’t think I can go on like this. I’ve had enough. It happens nearly every day, at work, with my friends, and at home. It’s just becoming too much.” I found myself thinking this over and over again, and it started to show in my reactions when I was with people.
I saw that something had to change. That’s when God showed me a better way. He showed me that I can choose how I will react. If I can choose, it means that the solution lies in my mind, in my thoughts. Through His Word, He showed me a way of taking things that was totally different from how I’d been doing it before. I opened the Bible at Romans 12:17-21 (GNT) and read:
“If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the scripture says, ‘I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.’ Instead, as the scripture says: ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.’ Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer [overcome] evil with good.”
Nowhere in these verses it says, “... unless people are being unreasonable or difficult.”
Doing God’s Word
So I started doing what these verses advised. The way people treated me did not change, but now I knew a better way to be with them. It is not natural for anyone to tell their co-worker to have a good day, and mean it, after he has just screamed at you! This was certainly not something that I would naturally do. But the Bible told me to overcome evil with good. It isn’t in my human nature to do that, but God is so good that I can go to Him and pray for help to react in a godly way, no matter how people treat me. (Hebrews 4:16.)
Then God gave me another verse, “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NCV). That was the help I needed. When I don’t give in to the temptation to react with anger, I am sowing good seeds. One day, at the right time, I will harvest. Just think, we are called to bless and not to curse! I have seen that when I repay evil with good, my days are so much better. People can say or do whatever they want, but that can't take the joy out of my heart.
Every temptation is an opportunity to overcome
Although people may still be difficult, I no longer give in to the temptation to become irritated or impatient. I believe what is written in God’s Word, so I don’t give in to the anger or irritation that I am tempted to. In other words, I do God’s Word. And I have the promise that I will harvest good things if I keep doing this.
“And let the peace of Christ be ruling in your hearts ... Let the word of Christ be in you in all wealth of wisdom; teaching and helping one another with songs of praise and holy words, making melody to God with grace in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15-16 (BBE). This is what I want to do more than anything else. This is what I keep myself busy with, and I know that God will continue to help me with this, no matter who I meet, whether they are difficult or not.