By Luther Bolenbanker
There is no doubt that others rule our lives to a great extent. Other people make us happy or unhappy. Others cause us to feel good or frustrated, they produce feelings of resentment or kindness toward them and others.
An expression we sometimes use is, “You are a pain in the neck.” This is a fact, doctors tell us that others can cause headaches and pains in the neck, or ulcers or nerve problems, mental anguish and frustration. People can make us feel like a million bucks or two cents.
It is amazing the power that other people have over us. If someone says to us, “Don’t tell me you’re wearing that old blue suit again!”, it normally will cause us to vow to buy another suit or determine that we will never wear that suit again. If someone shouts at us we tend to shout back at them. If someone is angry with us it is extremely difficult to refrain from being angry with them.
The apostle Paul tells us, “Be ye imitators of me, even as 1 also am-of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The strength of Christ’s character can be seen in that moment, when the shouting, jeering mob falsely accused Him, when the chief priest ridiculed Him, when the governor questioned Him, and when the Roman soldiers beat Him, yet, He remained silent, composed and in full command of His life and mission here upon the earth.
When we discover and learn that agonizing over the past, nursing bitterness over failures and missing out on relationships with others prevents us from joyfully living life now, then we will be in control of our lives, not someone else.
It is natural that we be influenced by other people, and that is not all bad. Both good and bad influences can come from those who are good or evil. Let us keep our lives in the proper balance and discern between good and evil. Why permit the venom of someone else’s sour attitude to poison our life.
Don’t let others influence you to the point that they cause us “a pain in the neck.” What type of influence do you provide and show to others?
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 6, p. 207
April 7, 1983