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React vs. Respond

Scripture:

Proverbs 12:16 NIV “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.”

Observation:

Many of us react almost immediately after something upsets us. It could be a look or word, a situation that we find ourselves in that triggers us to react in a way that could be different from the genuine intent. In other words, we could be quick to judge and cast judgment before ever considering others options or responding differently. Solomon calls it foolishness to react before considering other outcomes of decisions. We are called to love each other and love also overlooks an offense. It doesn’t mean allowing any type of offending behavior against us, but to look at how we can maintain relationships and share God’s love. In the Book of James, we are to be slow to anger and quick to listen. 

Application:

I think I have grown short on patience and temper with my kids and sometimes with others. As soon as they do something that doesn’t agree with me, I am quick to anger and slow to listen. I read in a book about the five-minute rule. It is basically a way to let time (5 minutes) pass before responding. This way, instead of reacting, I can respond in a way so I won’t regret it later. It is a work in progress but I feel it is helping with how I deal with others. I can listen to the details of their arguments and then let God reveal pieces that I would otherwise miss if I reacted. 

Prayer:

Thank you, Jesus, for revealing this bit of wisdom that spoke to my heart. I pray that you develop in me the perseverance to wait to respond. Speak to me and direct my steps in how I should respond. Help me to use your love in trying situations to maintain relationships. Help me also to be discerning in which battles need to be fought. I love you, Jesus! Thank you for always listening to me in my struggles and responding in love. Amen!

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