Anybody on the planet earth can get along with my wife, Patty because she is a very, very easy person to get along with. Philippians 2 says that we ought to work at having the attitude that Jesus had, who always put everyone ahead of himself. That is how Patty functions; she always puts everyone’s needs and interests above her own. Some would say that you can’t do that because people will take advantage of you and violate your rights. I have never known of anybody who took advantage of Patty. It could be that she is so nice that people can’t bring themselves to take advantage of her, or it could be that because of her character and genuine love for other people that God has placed around her His canopy of protection, people couldn’t violate her rights even if they wanted to.
I used to be in endless conflicts and skirmishes with people, not shouting matches or anything too rude, just tensions and hurt feelings. That is not a good thing if you are a church pastor, especially if you are the Pastor of the church that’s subtitle is “The I Love You Church.” I am not perfect now, but I am so much better than I used to be, and the main reason is because of Patty’s coaching. It took quite a few years, we have been married 51 years, but she has had a significant impact on my life, my character, my behavior, and my relationships.
I am a very fortunate and blessed person. I had very good parents who parented me well and taught me the basic disciplines of life, the value of hard work, faithfulness and being responsible. And then I married Patty and she has whittled away on all the rough edges.
There have been dozens of other people in my life who have influenced and shaped my character, pastors, teachers, coaches, counselors, and friends. When I stand before Jesus at the end of my life I am going to have to give away every reward I receive to someone else who is the reason that I get any reward.