As the days get warmer… Ok, this is East Texas so I should rephrase that. As the days get hotter, the natural tendency is for people to get grumpy.
My mom once gave me some profound advice for dealing with people who are in that frame of mind, and it came in the form of one simple sentence. “Stay sweet in your soul.”
I’ll admit I laughed the first time she said it, but every time she gave me advice about handling a situation, that phrase was the last thing she would say. When I really stopped to think about what it meant, there was no way I could deny the power in those 5 words.
We can’t control how people act.
It may be the summer heat making them cranky or it might be stress in their personal lives causing them to blow a fuse. Whatever it is, we can’t fix it and we can’t choose how they will react to it, or to us.
The only thing we can control is how it affects us and how we respond. It’s our choice whether we respond viciously with hateful words or actions that destroy our witness, or whether we put Proverbs 15:1 into practice and return their venom with gentle words.
So, when your boss blows his/her top and takes it out on you… stay sweet in your soul.
When someone cuts you off in traffic… stay sweet in your soul.
When that same person decides to add a gesture to the situation… stay sweet in your soul.
Even if nobody is around but you feel like it wouldn’t take much for you to snap at the first person who walks up and looks at you funny… stay sweet in your soul.
Yes, that’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received, and whenever I’m tempted to give in and let my flesh respond in a tough situation, I still hear my mom gently reminding me, “Stay sweet in your soul.”
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
Do you have a different way of remembering to be gentle with people who are mistreating you? Please, feel free to share it with us!
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