As I drove into the fuel station that day, I signalled the attendant that I would like to use the POS machine. The kind of look she gave me was very bad. Usually, I ignore such, especially when it has to do with the opposite sex. But that day, I decided to smile at her and asked if I had offended her. She said no and smiled back. I left the fuel station, brightening someone else’s face. I decided not to join her.

Friend, don’t join them. A lot of times, people would misbehave towards you. Some would mock and abuse you. Others would want to take advantage of you. There are people that would pick offences with you for no just cause. Don’t join them (1 Peter 4:1-5). Understand that your attitude and behaviour must not be determined by what other people do. It must be based on who you are (Matthew 5:14).

We relate with people, not based on who they are, but based on who we are. When you understand that you are a person of honour and value, you would behave honourably (1 Timothy 4:12). You would refuse to be dragged in the mud of quarrels and offences. You would be the one who makes peace and brightens other people’s faces (Matthew 5:9).

A lot of people are going through stuff these days. Perhaps the fuel attendant was going through stuff. Perhaps her salary had not been paid, or she had bills piling up for her. May be she had a loved one in the hospital. She might be tired of enduring the single life with no hope of marriage in sight. She might be dealing with inferiority complex. Whatever the case was, I chose to help her and not hurt her the more (Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:5-6).

Learn to see beyond what people do. Choose to see into who they really are and what they might be going through. If you have a proud person around you, for instance, don’t argue with him or try to prove a point. Most proud people have low self-esteem. They try to cover up their complex problem by projecting themselves beyond necessary. A truly emotionally healthy person would be humble (Romans 12:1-3).

God has sent us as ambassadors of peace to our world. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We cannot afford to join those whom Jesus has sent us to rescue. If you allow the devil to wrap you up in petty issues like quarrels and strife, you would block your opportunity to witness Christ to a dying world (Genesis 13:7-9). When next you are tempted to pay someone back in his own coin, always remember that you are different (Jude 1:22). Don’t join them.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria