A friend of mine remembers hearing famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once tell the story of running into an acquaintance he hadn’t seen in quite awhile and getting the cold shoulder from this person. Zig was bothered by this and asked the other person what was up. The other person fessed up that, essentially, they were carrying a grudge because Zig had accidentally cut them off in traffic several months earlier. Zig, of course, was completely unaware of this so he was unaffected. Yet, the other person was harboring this grudge and letting it affect their life in a negative way. I think we can all see how ludicrous that is.
Yet how easy is it for us to do this? We perceive that someone else has not met our expectations so we start to “cold shoulder” them or, worse yet, seek retaliation. This just exacerbates the damaged relationship and makes things worse.
It is critical that, when we feel slighted by someone, we “get over it” and reach out to them with the care, concern and love that we should reach out to everyone with. Now, am I saying that we must “like” everyone? No, that is ludicrous, too. There are people I know who I do not particularly “like” and there are thousands of people who don’t particularly like me, I am sure. That is fine. I may not like them and I may not agree with or choose to condone their behavior but I can still love them (as God instructed us to love everyone); I can still respect them as important individuals, and I can still work with them.
When you start to feel your trust slipping in a co-worker, friend or family member, you are, at that point, the only person who can change things and prevent the relationship from going into a downward spiral. It is said that trust and respect are two-way streets. I am not sure whether I fully agree with that but, in any event, I firmly believe that “If it is to be, it is up to me.”
If you’re seeking a scriptural perspective on this issue, check these out: 1 Peter 3:8-10, Matthew 5:38-42, and Romans 12:9-14.