I have one colleague who practically ignores me, even though I smile and say hi to them every time I see them. Oftentimes, they will walk right pass me as if they are intentionally trying to avoid me. Then, I have this other colleague who is very short-tempered with me. When they ask me to perform a task that I don’t know how to do, when I make a mistake, or when they relay a message to me that I don’t comprehend the first time, they get frustrated and say sarcastic things under their breath. I have this third colleague who is extremely carnal and profane in their communication. Finally, there’s this other colleague who is attractive to me, both physically and personality wise, and they can be flirtatious at times. I don’t say this to complain, to vent or to gossip about their condition, but to show you that other people’s character will oftentimes reveal or expose a lot about your own character. Let me show you what I mean:
1) For the person that ignores me–whether consciously or subconsciously–it causes me to feel rejected. This unhealthy fear of rejection is attached to a void in my life where I was not properly affirmed by those who should have affirmed me as a child–mainly my family. Thus, this void has birthed a desire in me to want to be affirmed or accepted by people–sometimes even more than God. Going out of your way to be accepted by people is how you end up being a people’s pleaser–used and abused.
2) For the person who is short-tempered with me when I mess up, it causes me to feel ignorant, inadequate, and unworthy, as if I never do anything right–a mentality that has been instilled in me growing up because a B+ never seemed to be good enough for my father. This has damaged my self-esteem. Then, when the colleague says sarcastic things to me, it makes me angry and makes me want to retaliate, like: “Who are you talking to like that?! Do you know who I am?!” This shows me that I take a lot of things too personally and that somewhere inside, I feel the need to justify or defend myself–which is rooted in pride. Definitely shows that I need to work on my humility.
3) For the person who is very carnal (worldly minded), I find myself getting caught up in ungodly conversations with them and making indecent jokes with them. Even though these conversations and jokes are seemingly funny and entertaining, they are also unfruitful and not Christ-like. This shows me that I have an area of compromise in me, where I am conforming to the patterns of the world and have not become regenerated in certain parts of my mind.
4) And for the colleague who is attractive, I’ve acknowledge that it’s okay to like someone’s personality or looks, but I must be mature about it and must also have self-control. To have such an overwhelming desire to hook up with everyone that you’re attracted to shows that you have a lust issue and that you are a very possessive person. It’s possible to just be friends with someone without always having to “own” or “cuff” them. And about the flirtatious part, people will treat you how you allow them to treat you. If they flirt with you–whether sexually or innocently, that’s because you’ve given them the impression that is acceptable behavior. But you must be a person of integrity, especially if you claim to be a Christ-follower or if you are already in a relationship. So, again, other people’s character will oftentimes reveal or expose a lot about your own character. Check yourself before you check them.