There are not a lot of things that we can control when it comes to living in this world. Other people are definitely not one of those things. A scripture that has always stood out to me, and I try to live by is Paul’s words to the Romans, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Paul is not saying to just roll over and allow other people to walk all over you, or take advantage of you. He is encouraging the Roman believers to do their best to live at peace with others and not make trouble. In other’s words don’t go looking for a fight, and don’t go looking for trouble.
Looking through the lens of context Paul was talking to believers who were under Roman oppression. He was urging them with the same directives that Christ gave us which I’ve discussed previously when I broke down forgiving 70 x 7 times.
We don’t always have to be right when it comes to social media or when we have conversations with those who believe differently than us.
Listen to this next statement and let it sink in:
There is nothing you can do to change a person, only God can.
When it comes to your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, or anyone else remember you cannot control what they do or say. You can only control how you act, speak, and respond. There will be those that are bent on tormenting, badgering, or bothering you, but do your best to live at peace with them. Paul can sympathize; he had Jews following him around and contradicting his teachings.
As far as it depends on you… Not as far as it depends on what they say, or how they respond, live at peace with others, as far as it depends on you.
This concept really comes down to personal accountability. You can’t control others, but you can control yourself. Jesus never reacted to those that jeered him at his “trial,” or during his life for that matter. Let us learn to live the same way.