Gathering Together

Why God Wants You to Be the “Bigger Person”

Enjoying Everyday Life

Joyce Meyer

Post Date: 10-30-11


God puts us in relationships with all kinds of people. And boy, are we different. We think differently; we have different personalities, interests and ideas. God made us that way on purpose―and He still wants us all to get along!

The Bible says in Philippians 2:2 (AMP), “Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention.”

To put this in perspective, Paul was dealing with people who seemed to be in continual disagreement. If you’ve raised two or more children, I’m sure you know exactly what he’s talking about. Sometimes you’d give anything for a little peace and quiet.

Oddly, the people we will disagree with most are the ones we care the most about―our spouses, family members, close friends and coworkers. If we’re asking God to bring healing in any of those relationships or make them better, we need to partner with Him to make it happen.

We need to learn how to control our emotions and stay out of strife.

What’s Strife?

Strife is an old-fashioned word for bickering, arguing or heated disagreement, and it carries an angry undercurrent.

Have you ever been around someone who’s pretending everything’s okay but you can tell that on the inside, they’re seething with anger? Have you ever been that person?

Think about it. How long do you stay mad when someone mistreats you? How easy is it for you to get frustrated with someone? When you have a disagreement, do you have the need to always be right?

Strife is extremely dangerous. It can destroy marriages, families, relationships, even churches. If it isn’t stopped, it will continue to go from person to person, causing all kinds of problems and unnecessary pain.

You Can Stop Strife As Soon As It Starts

The Bible says that we are still under the control of the flesh as long as we are envious and jealous of others and there is arguing among us (see 1 Corinthians 3:3).

The minute we begin to sense a spirit of envy or jealousy within us or an urge to be offended, we need to make a decision to put our feelings aside and say, “I am not offended.”

If we don’t do this and instead just stuff it down inside us, little things become giants in our lives. Then before we know it, we’re angry, bitter, resentful people, going to church every week but not acting any different than the rest of the world―and that’s just not going to work.

God wants us to care more about maintaining peace in our relationships than we care about being right. And He wants us to have a good attitude even when we don’t get our way.

Acts 13:22 says God is looking for those who will “carry out My program fully” (AMP), and part of that is learning to forgive quickly, frequently and thoroughly.

When you have a conflict, you need to do your part to resolve it no matter what the other person chooses to do. Someone has to choose to be humble and apologize first―and as a Christian, that very often means you.

The Upside of Sacrificing Your Pride

If you’ve been through some tough times in your relationships, you probably know that being right is highly overrated. We’re not likely to agree with each other by accident because we’re all different, so we need to put a real effort into creating an atmosphere of unity.

And where there’s unity, there’s anointing and blessing. There’s power in agreement…and there’s peace.

I can promise you that sometime in the next week, you will have an opportunity to be offended. You may be tempted to have an all-out fit. But before that even happens, I encourage you to set your mind to be the “bigger” person.

Why? Because when we do, we can have the healthy relationships God wants us to have.

We’re not ever going to be perfect like Jesus, but we can get better at loving imperfect people. In other words, we can be like Him. Are you with me? Let’s give God glory in our relationships.

For more on this topic, order Joyce’s four-CD series 8 Ways to Live Conflict Free. You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting www.joycemeyer.org.

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 90 books and counting, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living Beyond Your Feelings (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.

Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.