Jerks are everywhere...
My daughter just went through a situation that brought their family much turmoil and struggle. The end result was good and they recovered to be healthier and happier than ever but when you’re in the middle of the upheaval it’s easy to get your eyes on the people who caused it. It’s easy to blame, complain and gripe.
One of the statements she made was “Why are their so many jerks?” to which I responded, “Jerks are everywhere.” Jerks are in your family, your work place, your coffee shop, and yes….even your church. Jerks are everywhere. In fact, I’ve been a jerk at times.
The key is to not let the jerks dictate how you live your life. You don’t want someone outside of yourself to make your decisions. You want to live independently from the jerk. You will have them, they are everywhere but you don’t want to be influenced by them.
The Apostle Paul said, “See no one after the flesh”. In other words, don’t look at people through just what you see. There are some serious reasons for peoples behaviors. I’m definitely not saying to excuse a jerk’s behavior and I’m not saying ignore it. I saying to not let it influence you.
I want to get to the place that I do what’s right whether anyone else does or not. Being a Pastor, I’ve run into a lot of jerks. Some jerks are jerks for life and you cant’ really pay any attention to them. Some are jerks for a moment. They usually are jerks because something got their goat and they want their pound of flesh.
Some are periodic jerks that seem to flow in and out of jerk hood. I’ve had all of these several times…probably hundreds of time. People that I’ve served as their pastor for decades suddenly become jerks and won’t talk to you, won’t return your phone calls or texts and gossip or complain about you. They cause much damage to the Kingdom of God and to personal lives.
Make decisions ahead of time. Choose to start every day with a determination that you’re not going to let jerks rule you. Write it in your journal. Don’t allow the jerks of this world to live in the apartment in your mind and not even pay rent.
This quote by Mother Teresa really says it all.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
I think she got it right.
I teach my employees a concept called “Embrace Resistance”. It goes like this:
Don’t mind criticism. If it’s untrue, disregard it; if it’s unfair, keep from irritation; if it’s ignorant, smile; if it’s justified, it is not criticism.
Make people better because they know you.
Remember, jerks are everywhere but you don’t have to listen to them.