I’ll never forget the first time I heard Chuck Swindoll say, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” At first, I thought ‘no way!’ But the more life I have experienced the more I tend to agree with him.
You see, we react to what we perceive reality to be. Case and point…several years ago I worked as a COO of a company. We were getting ready to shoot a commercial and in passing my boss told me to wear my blue dress for the shoot. I immediately got angry! Who is he telling me what to wear! And just what does he mean by wanting me to wear my blue dress!
I wrestled with that as I thought things like, “Does he think that is the only thing I look professional in?” “Does he want me to stand out or fade away?” And the nonsense continued until I couldn’t stand it. So in anger I asked my husband what he thought my boss meant by that. My husband said, “I just think he wants you to wear the blue dress.”
Well, I did wear the blue dress. And my boss wore a blue suit. And we complemented our blue logo when it was all said and done. I totally understood, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” You see I reacted based on a flawed perception. Too funny, right?
Well, don’t we do that all the time? Trust me when I say that today if someone slings an innuendo at me I let it keep going. If you want to make a point with me, make it. Otherwise, I will assume the nicest – I react better that way. And I have found that more often than not, people weren’t trying to be mean. (If they were, this makes my life so much more wonderful to think the best!) I learned a valuable lesson that day and my life is different today because of it.
Jesus said we are to treat others the way we want to be treated. We know this as the “Golden Rule”. If we live by this we make our lives and the lives of those around us so much better. Not only do we treat others better, we let petty differences go. Yes, sometimes people hurt us, intentionally and unintentionally, but we can choose how we react and certainly how we treat others.
The next time you feel that “rise” within you, remember my blue dress and laugh a little; then act on the “golden rule”. You’ll be glad you did!
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you,” Matthew 7:12