Author: Mike Kelley
Title: Mike's Minute

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it might minister grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

A faculty member at a university once became very distraught over the weakness of a particular administrator with whom he had a poor relationship. He allowed himself to think about the man constantly.

Hateful, negative thoughts so preoccupied him that it affected the quality of his relationships with his students, his family, his church, and his colleagues. He finally decided that he needed to leave and accept a teaching position elsewhere.

A friend asked him, “Wouldn’t you really prefer to teach here, if the administrator were not here?” “Of course,” the teacher responded, “but as long as he is here, my staying is too disruptive to everything in my life. I have to go.”

The friend then asked, “Why have you made this man the center of your life?” As much as he tried to deny the truth of this, the teacher finally had to admit that he had allowed one individual and his weaknesses to distort his entire view of life. For the first time, he realized that this was not the administrator’s doing. It was his own.

From that day forward, he focused on what was right in front of him. He focused on his students and his teaching... and he found new joy in his “old” job.

When you focus on controlling others (impossible), your life feels out of control. When you focus on changing others (unlikely), you are inviting feelings of frustration and futility. When you concentrate on running down others, the only thing that gets run down is you.