Attitudes

Yesterday my good friend Shanon posted something on Facebook (of course) that brought up a memory of my grandfather. Her post was, “Being Nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake. It means you are mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them. Be Blessed!”
I was reminded of a story my grandpa used to tell of a man he worked with. This man HATED my grandfather with a passion. Every morning my grandpa had to pass him when going into work. He would smile and say a genuine good morning. After about 6 months the man couldn’t stand it anymore. He stopped my grandpa and said in the nastiest tone, why are you always nice to me? You know I hate you. My grandpa looked at him and said because Jesus commands me to. You can be as mean and as nasty to me as you want to be. I can’t control you. All I can control is my reaction to you. At that point the man broke down and began to tell my grandfather about his life. Because of this he was able to share Christ with this man. You never know how your behavior changes others.
This is what I, myself have to work on, you see, when I dislike someone who has treated me badly, it shows, on my face, in my tone, in my body language. Every ounce of my being says I don’t like you, I should not behave in such a manner. I had great examples showing me exactly why I shouldn’t behave this way.
Controlling your own behavior is really the only control we have over ourselves. Once we realize that we can then behave in a manner that is befitting what we say our belief system really is.
I say this for myself, I need to control me, not anyone else, as I write this I am reminded that the person this is speaking to is me. This is not one of those times I am irritated with others and am telling them they need to take a hard look at themselves.
I am talking to me, the man in the mirror as it were, it all starts there, within myself. We only have the power to change ourselves. We can’t change the way anyone else treats us, we can only change the way we treat them.

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