How many times do we encounter people that really push our buttons or hurt our feelings? When people say things to us, we react with various words or actions. Sometimes those emotions can cause us to say and do things that we cannot take back. It’s wishful thinking in this ole world that everyone would want to be the better person in any given situation. The golden rule is that we should treat others the way we would want them to treat us. But do we? We should never treat someone in a way we would not want to be treated. Just because someone may mistreat us, we have no right to mistreat him or her. God says vengeance is His, simply because He alone can carry out righteous justice In fact, when we overcome evil with good, it makes an impression on those who mistreat us (Read Romans 12:17-21).
I love the hymn, “They will know we are Christians by our love,” So, do people know we are Christians by our love? What can we do to be the better person, the person that is pleasing to God? One way is to change what we focus on. When we focus upon God we can become a better person. When we focus on His Word and what He commands us as Christians, we will show love and humility. I know personally, I am so conscientious of how I come across to people. Sometimes my emotions do get the best of me, and I immediately feel regret. I want to be pleasing to God in my words and my actions. I John 3:18 reads: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.
When we have to deal with difficult people, it is important to practice humility. We want others to be patient with our shortcomings, and we should be patient with theirs. Humble and kindness is the key to being the better person. Philippians 2:3-7 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” I personally know how hard this can be. As a Christian, I am a work in progress every single day. The power of prayer and getting into God’s Word daily can help you to be the better person.
Speaking of prayer, we should always pray for our enemies and those who hurt you. Luke 6:27-31 says, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” I find this to be one of the hardest commands to follow, but to be pleasing to God, it is something we must do and mean it. I can tell you from experience that when I pray for my enemies, it really helps me have peace. There is not anyone that doesn’t need prayer, and that includes our enemies.
I know in a world where a lot of people are envious, jealous, mean spirited, gossipers, backbiters, arrogant, haters of God, etc. you can be the better person in any situation. Through putting your focus on God and learning to have humility you can always be the better person. In James 3:17-18, it says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.