What I Can Control…

Proverbs 26:21 reads, “As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.”

It is human nature to want to be liked by others. I’ve heard that 20% of the people we will encounter in our lifetime will not like us. In other words for every 10 people I know, 8 will like me and 2 will not! The question is why do we tend to focus on the 2 that do not like us instead of the 8 who do?

When I was a little boy, my dad used to take me to an auto-parts store. It was similar to Autozone but more of a Mom and Pop store. The owner did not like my dad; in fact, whenever we were in the store, he was rude and condescending to my father. He had this look about him as if my dad was the last person on the planet he wanted to see. One afternoon as we left the store, I asked my dad why he was so nice to the man when it was obvious the guy hated him. Pops took my hand, and as we walked to our car he explained, “That guy? Michael, he is always that way to me.”

“I know!” I answered, “and you are always so friendly to him. I want to punch him in the nose!”

Pops laughed. “I can’t do anything about the way that fellow treats me. What I can do is control how I act toward him.”

There is no doubt we will interact with people who are rude and treat us poorly; but it doesn’t mean we have to respond in like fashion. Do not allow others to dictate how you behave. The moods and negativity of others cannot alter yours unless you let them.

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