You’ll always have someone in your life who is difficult and gets on your nerves. It might be a jealous coworker, a rude neighbor, or a critical relative. But if you respond to them the right way, they won’t keep you from having a blessed, productive, favor-filled day. Are you letting things upset you that don’t have to upset you? Are you giving away your power, letting what people do to you determine whether or not you’re going to be happy? You need to take back the control of your happiness. Quit putting it in someone else’s hands. If you’re only going to be happy when other people treat you nice and are kind and say good things, you’re giving them your power.
There was a man who went into a small newsstand with his friend to get a newspaper. The clerk was very cold, inconsiderate, not friendly at all. The man bought the paper and said politely, “I hope you have a great day.” As they walked back to his house, the friend said, “Is that clerk always that rude?” He said, “Yes, every morning.” The friend replied, “Well, are you always that nice to him?” The man said, “Yes, every morning.” The friend looked puzzled and asked, “Why?” The man answered, “I’ve made up my mind that I’m not going to let one person ruin my day.” As that man did, you have to have a made-up mind that you’re not going to let one negative comment ruin your day. You’re not going to let a disrespectful coworker, a classmate who’s making fun of you, or a driver who cuts you off in traffic sour your day. Decide ahead of time: “Whatever comes my way—negative comments, disrespect, rude people—that’s going to slide right off me.”
You can’t control how someone treats you, but you can control how you respond. Jesus says, “Stop allowing yourself to get upset” (John 14:27). You give them permission to upset you. You make the choice of being offended, discouraged, and sour. Some people know what buttons they can push to get you bent out of shape. The next time they push those buttons, just smile and say, “I’m not taking the bait. I’m going to stay in peace and be respectful despite how they treat me.” You have to stay on the offensive because you control your happiness. Make up your mind that no matter what people say or how they treat you, they’re not going to steal your joy. They may not want to be happy, but they shouldn’t keep you from being happy. The most powerful thing you can do is be good to them, keep focused on your goals, and let God be your vindicator.