“Being the bigger person” is a common enough expression, but it is a fairly uncommon practice in society as a whole (just pay attention to presidential campaigns!):
- It means that if you have an ongoing feud with someone, you are the one who breaks the cycle of mistreatment and seeks the good of the other party.
- It means that when you get in a fight or argument with someone, you apologize first.
- It means that if someone hurts you or wrongs you in some way, you initiate the process of forgiveness even if they don’t ask it from you.
- It means that when someone says something bad about you, you brush it off and don’t respond in kind.
Honestly, it is hard to be the bigger person. It takes a lot of maturity and self-control. In my years in ministry, I have found myself in multiple circumstances where I know that I’m in the right and someone else is in the wrong and I want nothing more than to respond to that other person in such a way that they will come to realize just exactly how right I am and how wrong they are!
And that’s when the bigger person thing comes into play.
Here’s the thing I eventually realized: if I want to follow Jesus Christ, I never get to not be the bigger person.
The teachings of Scripture are clear on this enough on this: love your enemy…turn the other cheek…forgive one another…as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men…the list goes on and on.
The longer that I am a Christian, the more convinced I am that this is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Always strive to be the bigger person.