With every happenstance of life, we react. Sometimes we use measured wisdom, and sometimes we resort to unbridled emotion. Either way, Newton's Law remains - For every action there is a positive and equal reaction. Let me challenge you today, even as I challenge myself, to consider our responses to life's events. Let's think through these questions.
What is going to happen if I explode? If I'm not honest? If I demand things be my way? If I fail to keep a confidence? If I don't keep my word? If I cheat? How often do I react without taking time to think about the consequences?
The Bible contains examples of people who failed to stop and think before they acted or reacted, especially those who didn't first inquire of God. As a result, they all fell onto hard times, and the cost was dear. Movies or even human nature reveal the same principle. When we react without stopping to think, things don't turn out so well.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about Emotional Intelligence. That is the ability to discern outcomes based on our responses and the feelings of others, to be considerate. Taking time to consider what will happen, how others will feel, what might be behind their words, and the best course for resolution are key elements to a healthy response based on emotional intelligence.
Now, go back and ask yourself those first few questions again. What situation is in front of you that needs to have more thought? Or a prayerful, measured response? What is most likely to happen if you control your emotions, mete out your words, wait for a more appropriate time to respond, or even decide to take a different approach?
I'm sure you know the answer. Patience and wisdom are always better than hasty foolish responses. Seeking God's opinion before acting on your own is always the better approach.
So what's gonna happen? Only you can decide. You can keep on tearing up your relationships or start being the mender. You can continue eating your words or learn to season them with grace. You can continue creating drama or be the peacemaker.
Your reaction is your choice. I know what I'm gonna do. How about you?