Action or Reaction

My wife always says, “You are not responsible for other people’s action but you are responsible for your reactions.” There have been times when the “spirit of slap” comes upon you and you cautiously and, might I add, wisely refrained. In your mind you are questioning, “What were they thinking?”

But what drives these moments of uprising within us. Could we have misunderstood their motive, misapplied their reasoning or miscomprehended their actions? No, I saw it with my own eyes but assumption is not always truth. The man driving recklessly through traffic may have been rushing his sick baby to the hospital. The man you saw with a woman who wasn’t his wife may have been with his sister you have never met. A crying girl may not have been sad but was overwhelmed with the news that her boyfriend soldier was coming home. The angry woman may have just found out her son had been placed in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

What we harshly judge others with – we ask for compassion in our own instances.

Here are a few “improved” reactionary steps:

Turn the other cheek I know – this is really tough; especially when you feel you have been wronged so many times. Learn to take the hit without twitching. Remember what Jesus said, “They do not know what they are doing.”

Grin and bear it This is similar to “turn the other cheek” but different. In this instance, you are merely smiling – showing your best side. Not fighting sword with sword but fighting with a smile. This will do more than a reactionary “bring it on, man!”

Turn it in If the insult, slander, libel or threat was severe enough you may need to turn in it to the proper authorities. If this is what is going on in public then what is being done in private. Go to the proper authorities and let them deal with it.

Let it go Nothing will eat your lunch like mulling over an angry person who told you off. Brush it off, let it go, and enjoy the freedom of not hanging on to it for the rest of the day. Someone has said that bitterness is the poison you drink meant for the enemy. Revenge will not make you happy. Let it go!

Pray about it Absolutely nothing will dissolve anger and bitterness greater than the avenue of prayer. Seek God’s advice. Ask Him for counsel. Forgive the other person. Pray God will bring the offender to a place of repentance and change. God is able to do great things through prayer.

Comment Below: Have you “turned the other cheek” recently??

Copyright by Jim Laudell. This blog post should not be considered as counseling or mental advice. Please, seek the help of a professional. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

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