We’ve all been in situations where we wish we had responded differently. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but there is a lot of hostility in the world today. People lose their cool and fly off the handle at the slightest thing. They have huge reactions to minor infractions and the situation escalates into something which can actually cause long-term damage to relationships.

So, I have a question for you today. How do you respond to other people’s rudeness? Their hostility? Their accusations? How do you respond when someone overlooks you, treats you unfairly or criticizes you? How do you react?

I have often failed in this area, but am so grateful for the revelation I made and going to share with you today. It has helped me to get better in this area each year… and I truly believe it will help you to do the same.

In reality, no matter who does what, YOU are responsible for your reaction. You cannot control any other person on this planet. You can’t control how they treat you, what they say to – or about you – or the choices they make. You can, however, control how you respond to them.

If you are easily provoked, your response will not be good. Guess what happens next? Each time you become provoked, the reaction gets worse and the cycle continues… and escalates!

There may be one or two people in your life who seem to provoke you the most. Maybe it’s your spouse, your teenager, your boss or your coworkers. You are not responsible for their actions, but you are responsible for your own reactions.

That’s why it’s critical to have a strategy for dealing with people. I have focused on using this strategy in my response to different people in my life (especially the ones who seem to provoke me the most), and it has brought incredible results.

  1. Be slow to anger. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.” (Proverbs 15:18) Our culture is overly hot-tempered. This seems to be the new “norm.” But, this stirs up strife, conflict, disagreements, dissension, anger and rage. When you choose to be slow to anger, you actually calm disputes. When someone comes to you with accusations or hostility, by being slow to anger, you disarm that person instead of provoking increased hostility! YOU take the power out of their words and out of their hands.
  2. Rule your own spirit. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) When you react to other people, it means they are in control. They are ruling your spirit! Ruling your own spirit means you cannot be provoked by another person. It means you are in control of your own thoughts, words, actions and reactions.
  3. Overlook transgressions. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11) Did you catch that?! It is your glory to overlook a transgression! When someone wrongs you… when they lash out at you or offend you in some way, give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t bite that hook of offense. Choose to overlook their transgression and forgive them! I’m not saying you should become a doormat and allow people to walk all over you. I’m simply saying, overlooking a transgression and choosing to forgive, instead of getting angry, goes a long way!
  4. Examine your heart. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” (Psalm 103:8) Take a moment to examine your heart before you react to someone. We should strive to imitate our Father. Over and over again in the scriptures, it says He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. So, ask yourself, “Am I compassionate? Am I gracious? Am I slow to anger? Am I abounding in lovingkindness?”

There is always room for improvement in this area, because we are all human and far from perfect. But, by asking yourself these questions and continually examining your heart, your Father will reveal places you can show more compassion or grace, and ways you can become slow to anger. He will reveal to you which people tend to cause these overreactions and He will help you to rule your own spirit.

In this hostile world, it is so important to have a strategy like this. Our relationships depend on it!

We all want God to be gracious and compassionate to us. We all want His mercy. We all want Him to be slow to anger with us. So today, let’s give others what we want to receive. Let’s be gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness with the people around us.

I promise you, your relationships will be strengthened and restored. You will find peace. You will become someone people love to be around. And you will experience more grace, mercy and compassion in your own life!

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all treated each other this way? If every person in your family, in your circle of friends, in your company, treated each other with compassion? How different our world would be! You can help bring this to pass by simply sharing this message with your family, friends and coworkers. The truth is, every person you know can use this strategy. So take a minute to shoot them an email or text, or just share it with ALL your friends on Facebook!

I would also love to know your thoughts on The Daily Fix today. Do you have a hard time ruling your spirit, when it comes to dealing with other people? What is your strategy for dealing with hostile, difficult people? How will this strategy help you deal with all the people in your life? Let me know in the comments below!

And don’t forget to tune in for our weekly Spiritual Equipping episode of The Dani Johnson Show today for more biblical insights and inspiration. You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.

In great faith,

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