Taking The High Road

"A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense."

~Proverbs 19:11

We make decisions about how we interact with people.  We decide how we're going to react in a situation.  We decide what we're going to say.  We decide what we're going to do.  Those decisions we make in every situation in our life is ours to make.  We are (or should be) in complete control.  

But we can't control what other people do.  We can't control what other people say.  We can't control the behavior of other people.

And I know what you're thinking--well thank you very much Captain Obvious!

These things are obvious, yet we spend so much time complaining about what other people say and do, and making excuses for how we've reacted to them.  Too often we read motives into other people's actions that may or may not actually be there, and when we do that it escalates issues because it skews our perception of what's actually going on.  We become "hypersensitive" to everything somebody does, because we're convinced they're "out to get us."  I deal with that from time to time--trying to deal with somebody's "perception" of what I'm saying rather than the "reality" of what I'm saying. 

So you see the problem, right?  We want to complain about other people's bad behavior, and then also blame them for ours when we react badly!  Sound familiar?

We control one side.  Our side.  We are responsible for our side.  We can't blame other people for our behavior.  We can try, but in the end, what we've said or done is on us.  And that's what we need to work on more often than not.  

If we'd simply just focus on our side of that equation, wouldn't our life be a lot simpler?  If we focused on how we react to things, wouldn't our life be more peaceful?  If we'd pause long enough to pray about an issue before we react, would that help a bunch?  If we just got into a mindset where we let other people do what they're going to do, and worry just about how we're going to deal with it--wouldn't that take a lot of stress, and anxiety, and anger, and upset off the table?

As it says in Proverbs.  Wisdom gives us the ability to be patient--to be able to discern between what is important and what it not.  To be able to stop and think about how we're going to respond in a thoughtful way--in a way more in line with our faith.  More in line with what Jesus taught us.  When we're able to do that, we'll see the glory, the value in learning to overlook so much of what we currently react to.  

We'll come to know a deeper peace. 

~Todd E. Creason