‘If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.’
1 Peter 2:20
You become like the people you spend the most time with, so choose your friends carefully. If you spend time with angry, resentful people you risk becoming an angry, resentful person yourself. That’s because attitudes are contagious. Here’s a wonderful story that illustrates the point. A man purchased a newspaper at a news stand every day. He always greeted the vendor very courteously, but in return received very gruff and discourteous service; the vendor would rudely shove the newspaper in his face. The man, however, would politely smile and wish him a nice day. This went on for several days until a friend asked, ‘Does he always treat you this rudely?’ The man replied, ‘Unfortunately, he does.’ The questioner asked, ‘Are you always so polite and friendly to him?’ The man replied, ‘Yes, I am.’ The questioner continued, ‘Why are you so nice to him when he’s so rude to you?’ The man replied, ‘Because I don’t want him to decide how I’m going to act.’ The Bible says: ‘If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly’ (vv. 20-23 NLT). That’s how to please God.