Do you typically react or respond to things in life?
- A reaction – Reflex, impulsive action, immediate. The first thing that comes to mind.
- A response – Thoughtful, considerate, patient, reasoned behavior.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Quick fix
- Incomplete information
- Tunnel vision
- Assuming the worst
- Based upon fear
- Reason and logic
- Reserved and thoughtful
- Getting all the facts first
- Looking at the whole picture
- Looking for the best
- Based upon faith and God’s love
Consider for a moment this morning how our interactions turn out with others when we react to people and situations. How does your day at work or school go when those around you are impulsive, emotional, going on incomplete information, assuming the worst and living based on fear?
What difference can you make (with God’s help) when you chose to respond to others rather than react? When you choose to focus on the facts and reason in order to gather all the information first, how will that help yourself and others? When you choose to live based upon faith, not fear, and when you choose to look for the best in people, how does that affect your attitude? How will that influence others in your circle?
Here are a few Proverbs for your meditation today as you seek to have a character and spirit that responds to situations rather than reacts to them.
- He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city (Proverbs 16:32).
- He who gives an answer before he hears, it is a folly and shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).
- The first one to plead his case seems right until his neighbor comes and examines him (Proverbs 18:17).
- Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit (Proverbs 25:28).
- A fool always looses his temper but a wise man holds it back (Proverbs 29:11).