Would you consider yourself an angry person? How about someone who has lots of friends (real friends, those you actually know personally)? Would those who know you say that you’re a generous person? These are important things to know because like it or not we all deal with other people every day. Sometimes we interact with those we know and other times we interact with strangers. But whether the person is a stranger or a friend shouldn’t impact how you generally act towards them; for example, just because they’re a stranger doesn’t mean you should disrespect or ignore them. No, you may not give them a hug when you meet them like you might a friend, but you’ll still be civil to them.
But there are those who are overly suspicious of everything and everyone else, those who see the world as a half-empty glass, and those who believe that there aren’t many good people in the world. We all have our bad days and misunderstandings or miscommunications, but that’s no reason to assume that the rest of the world is all bad and treat them as such.
You may not fall into the category of those who believe most of the world is bad, but you may have fallen into the habit of being snarky or treating friends in a certain (less than polite) way and it spills over to how you interact with everyone else you meet. You may not even realize you’re doing it.
But James 1:19b reminds us to: “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” I’m going to pay more attention to how I interact with others this week. You know why? Because it’s not just about those we personally and currently know, it’s about those we meet and the role they may play in our lives in our future too. You don’t know what role a stranger you meet today may have in your life several weeks or months down the road, but if it’s a negative interaction they have with you now that may ruin the opportunities you could have with them in the future. How do you treat others?