Digging Deeper into Day 24 – With Freedom Comes Responsibility
Many people use the terms “respond” and “react” interchangeably, as if they are synonymous. They are not. The words of a response and the words used in a reaction may be the same actual words; however, how they are delivered are not the same. The delivery may or may not alter the meaning. A reaction is more of a knee-jerk whereas a response is more weighed-out, taking into consideration more than the moment. A response is forward thinking and takes into consideration more than one’s self. Rarely will a response result in a person waking the next morning and regretting their words to another. Conversely, a reaction is the source of many regrets and embarrassing memories, even for years to come.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20 NIV)
He who is slow to anger has great understanding [and profits from his self-control], But he who is quick-tempered exposes and exalts his foolishness [for all to see]. (Proverbs 14:29 AMP)
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 NASB)
A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11 NASB)
Is there any one that you have a tendency to talk to, not talk with? If so, this is probably someone that you are reactionary toward, rather than responsive. When we talk with someone we are wanting to understand and be understood. When we find ourselves taking to someone, we are most likely conveying a sense of superiority. For example, talking in a superior posture or tone on the topic, or even talking over [literally or figuratively] that person, and possibly talking in an annoying way are examples of being reactionary, not responsive. Ouch! We all have those moments. With God’s help and guidance these exchanges lessen, day-by-day. Isn’t God good to help us even with how to respond, and how to engage in conversations with others!
Lord, thank You for your patience with me. I sincerely wish to convey kindness and interest when engaging in a dialogue with others. Forgive me when I am short with others, when I am disengaged as we talk and, when I lack humility. May others experience spending time with me as pleasant and encouraging. May they sense Your presence in my life and are eager to know You more. In Jesus’ name I ask, believing and trusting in Your best. Amen.
Digging deeper blogs augment lessons from My Leadership Compass: A Christ-Centered High School Curriculum. © 2021