Hollie wanted to borrow a shirt from Katie but was afraid that her sister would get mad if she came into her room.
“Send her a text,” I suggested. “That’s how I got her to bring me the towels out of your bathroom.”
“Katie has to listen to you,” Hollie replied. “She doesn’t have to answer to me.”
“Send the text from my phone,” I schemed.
My suggestion worked like a charm and the outcome got me thinking: Why does relating to other people have to be so hard?
Can’t we all just say what we mean, mean what we say and forget about managing others?
This summer, I spent a lot of time managing a difficult relationship. One where constant conflict and irrational behavior left me so emotionally drained that I was ready to give up on the person altogether—Then I read a bible study lesson that talked about how the real enemy is not the person with the maladaptive behavior, but the devil who was behind it.
Satan works through flawed characters to bring out the worst in well-intentioned ones. As soon as I realized that I was not the only one trying to gain control of the situation, I stopped trying to.
Sometimes you have to give up control to gain it. Only then can we experience the peace that the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:7.
Life shouldn’t have to be like a game a chess where we are always plotting the other person’s next move; but when it is, it helps to remember that we are all on the same team. And difficult people are not the enemy, but unwitting pawns in Satan’s plan.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.