If I’m having a problem with someone else, then it is usually my thinking that needs to change. While I can’t control how other people treat me, I can decide how I will treat them and the meaning I will give to the situation. Circumstances are neutral. God gave us all the power to name the things in our lives. We are the ones who decide when something is hard, impossible, ridiculous, shameful to us, unworthy, etc. What might seem like a hardship to one person might be a blessing to another person.
So often, we choose the wrong emotions and make up dramatic stories about what happens to us. Most of our minds are programmed to think negative thoughts and to go to the place of the worst-case scenario. What if we gave everyone and every situation the benefit of the doubt? All we see of a person is what they present to us. If they are afraid, then their fear may present to us a negative emotion like anger. They may be short with us because they are somehow struggling in their lives. If I associate a meaning with their action, I want it to be good. I want to try to see others as God wants me to see them. Therefore, I need to look through the lens of love—instead of judgment. We can’t help anyone to the Lord as long as we judge them.
Underneath it all, we are all the same. We all sin and come short and fail the Lord in some way. When I can put my thoughts and judgments aside and look into someone else’s eyes, I can see their soul. Beyond all the noise of their actions is usually a troubled heart.
Pain causes people to act in different ways. Some people who are hurting take it out on others. We should see their anger and meanness as a cry for help. People who are well don’t hurt other people. I want so badly for my reaction to be in love.
Regardless of the situation, I want to react with love. I want to be strong enough to lay my pride aside and pray for those struggling instead of allowing them to get to me. I’m so thankful that when I’m struggling, God comforts me. He doesn’t lash out at me when I’m struggling, but He stands in love while I work through it all.
While life is certainly filled with challenges, it is such a beautiful gift. Last night, I drifted off to sleep, thanking God for all the blessings in my life. The more that I listed, the more that came to my mind. This morning, I woke up feeling so blessed and peaceful. A few nights previously, I had lain awake most of the night worrying about things. Whatever we focus on will multiply in our lives. Today, let’s focus on the emotions that we want to feel. I want to feel love, gratitude, joy, and peace.