In life some lessons can be really hard to swallow. For example, that person in your life that is really hard to get along with and quit frankly you never want to be around. Right! That person who just popped into your mind. Maybe it is a family member who has to always be right despite how wrong he or she may be. A lazy co-worker who does nothing work related––unless you count playing games on Facebook as work related—that you have to pick up his or her slack because it got dumped on you due to his or her laziness.
When people like this walk in a room your body gets tense, your attitude changes, and your tone overflows with sarcasm. I think you get the idea of the type person I am talking about. So what do we do with people like this? People who we have to be around and communicate with, but for whatever reason everything about your interaction with them has to be difficult.
Here is the hard lesson I was referring to earlier. Paul tells the Roman Church that when you deal with people like this “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” When you are dealing with this type of person that statement is the last thing you want to hear, but think about it for a minute. In our dealings with these people we spend a lot of time wondering why is this person like this, how can I do something to change them, or what did I do wrong. We tend to have the mindset of if they treat me that way then I will just give them a taste of their own medicine. Because of the way they treat me my whole day is ruined when I have to deal with them. Notice what Paul says though. He makes no reference to the other person’s actions. He is speaking to you only about your actions and how you chose to respond.
Here is the reality of all relationships. You cannot control what another person says or does; however, the person you can control is you. Paul said, “As far as it depends on you.” I can tell you that I personally put this into practice in my life and not only has the way I feel about them changed but after a while I began to see changes in how they treat me. It has to start with you. Why? Because only you can control you.