My friend called me last week and she was hysterical about something that was going on at work. To put it frankly, her boss was being a complete b-word and she had to figure out what her next move was. She was trying to figure out how to respond, because she wanted to just put in her resignation and let her boss have it as she exited stage left. I listened to her during this FaceTime call and then it was my turn to talk.
My advice was not exactly what my friend wanted to hear. This is not abnormal…I am kind of known in my close circle for being the one to say what you know, but do not really want to hear. I basically was telling her that, “No, you can’t go off on your boss…” and “No, no, actually you can not say that to her either…even if she kind of deserves it!” Our conversation went from FaceTime to texting…
And then my friend hit me with…
I can so relate to that question. I have felt like she was feeling many, many, MANY times. Why do I have to always be the bigger person? Like, when will it be THE OTHER FOLKS turn to be the bigger people?
So, let’s talk about that for a second.
Why do you have to be the bigger person, especially when the other person is doing their best at making you feel small?
That feeling sucks! When you know for a fact that someone is pushing your buttons, you just want to GO COMPLETELY OFF.
It is soooooo hard to show restraint in those times. Trust me, following my own advice is not easy in those times.
What would be easy is chopping them down a level. I know that when I am mad that EVIL ME on my shoulder gives me all of the clever and terrible things that I could say to knock people off their high horse.
Me: BE nice…don’t say that.
Inner me: Nah, let them have it!
And usually, I don’t say those things. Well, I do say them…just not to the person. I say all the things in my head. Those hypothetical conversations I have where I act out the scenario with myself. Those fake arguments are so detailed. haha (don’t act like you have never done it!)
Then , I hear my Heavenly Father, saying BE THE BIGGER PERSON, Valaencia.
It is so annoying to be the bigger person all of the time though. Goodness, that Holy Spirit be interrupting some of my best cuss words and encouraging me to show grace. I do not always want to be so gracious. People are not always deserving of grace. But, neither are we when God shows us grace and mercy every single day. *deep sigh*
When it comes down to it, I know the only thing in the world that I can control is my own actions. I can only control MYSELF. So, I try my best to make sure that my actions line up with my purpose. God has made it clear that my purpose is to be a light that shines for HIM. We can not just let people blow out our light.
Your purpose is to be a light to shine for God. Your unique life and personality can be the best ministry to someone who may never step foot inside a church and may never utter a prayer of their own. People are always watching you. Some are just waiting for you to slip up and say/do something that they can criticize. Sometimes, you will fail. Sometimes that inner evil voice will win…and you will say things you shouldn’t.
But you, you who have been called according to His purpose, you are responsible for the things you do and the words you speak. Even when others are making you feel small. Even when the best come back seems like a good ol’ chop to the throat.
Keep remembering that YOU HAVE TO BE THE BIGGER PERSON.
It’s not an act though. You actually are a bigger person because of the Holy Spirit that lives in you. If you have asked God into your life, into your heart, then you have the power within you – that power can also give you the ability to SHUT UP!
Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
So, I ended up sending my friend a text message of exactly what I thought she should say to her boss. She didn’t want to say what I wrote, she said it was too nice. But, I I urged her to send it anyway. The end result was that her boss ended up apologizing and attempting to explain why she was acting the way she was. Her boss likely felt exactly the way she was trying to make my friend feel…small.
My friends gentle response deflated her boss. This was a reminder to me. Most of the time when people are trying to bend you all out of shape, it is just a reflection of how they feel about themselves inside. Don’t take it personal.
I’m not saying you can’t tell people how you really feel, but there’s always a right way to say it. Just be the bigger person…pull others up to your level. Try not to fall down to theirs.