Ill-tempered, persnickety, abrasive, rude, arrogant, thoughtless, selfish, disrespectful, argumentative, demanding, mean, whiny, abusive.
You know…one of those people.
Ever notice how a confrontation with one of those people provokes a desire to respond in the same way? If you don’t recognize it happening, you’ll soon be one of those people yourself. That kind of behavior is contagious. Anyone who’s ever dealt with a toddler knows that.
But unless you live in a cave, it’s going to happen. You’re going to come in contact with someone you’re quite sure should be banished to a rocky planet in the far reaches of the solar system. Instead, however, they’re right here on planet earth, stinking up your otherwise pleasant day.
So what are you going to do?
The temptation is to be a mirror and show them exactly how ugly they are. That rarely works, however; they simply think we’re the ugly ones. After all, we’re the mirror in their face, and gosh, do you ever need a breath mint.
The more difficult, but exponentially more fruitful response is to be the highest reflection of who that person could be if their full potential were realized.
It’s challenging to dismiss the stark evidence of who a person currently is in the moment that they’re snarling in your face. Their behavior isn’t about you, however, even when it’s directed at you. It’s truly about them.
And get this: your response isn’t about them. It’s about you. It’s about who you are.
You are loved so you can be loving.
You’re shown mercy so you can be merciful.
You’re forgiven so you can forgive.
You’re accepted so you can embrace.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to take it personally, and you can instead reflect the very things they lack…even if they choose to respond with even more ‘tude and bad behavior. You are free to make a higher choice.
When the world gives you hell…reflect Jesus.