One key to controlling our temper is to have realistic expectations, especially of others. Examples…no one is ever wrong or right all the time…it’s wrong to expect others to always be happy and helpful…none of us are “up” all the time…we all have times that we are sick, stressed, or just plain tired.
Right or wrong, all these vulnerabilities affect moods, attitudes, and behaviors…ours and those who anger us. They may have acceptable reasons for their seemingly rude behavior as they might not be just selfish or thoughtless. We need to avoid getting offended every time people don’t respond or act the way we think they should. They might just be having a bad day…stressors of magnitude higher in importance than their interaction with you.
We also need to remember that everyone and everything do not exist for our convenience or purpose. We will control anger better if we do not say things like “I can’t stand this …” or “They better never …” These statements lock us into emotionalizing rather than thinking. I mean, seriously…look at most of the events that anger you. In the overall scheme of life and the spiritual battle we are waging against Satan and his evil forces, is that other person really evil and our enemy.
Today, try to align yourself with reality. Don’t let everything bother you to the point that you “lose it” over other people’s failures. Show them the same kind of understanding you would like to have on your challenging days. Get mad at the behavior and look for a way to help the person see reality more clearly. At the very least, be thankful to God you don’t have their shortcoming and are blessed in that area of functioning. Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your perspective on having realistic expectations of others.
Dear Lord, help me not to expect others to be perfect or to always do things my way. Make me willing to overlook offenses, to see people’s hearts, and be sensitive to their needs. Help me, Father, to see You in them, and for them to see You in me. I pray this in the name of the One You sent to teach us, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.