I can tell it’s close to the end of summer. I’m just bone dead tired.
While we’ve had a great time together as a family… and have done so much fun stuff with friends, I am ready for these little people to go back to school. 🙂 I have a few good weeks left in me, but then it’s time to get back to our regular routines. The hectic schedule of summer wears me out.
And when I am worn out and tired… watch out.
Rather than showing grace and love to Sam and Sara, I am quicker to anger. My punishments are harsh and irrational… like when I grounded Sam from all “screen” time for the rest of the summer. (I’ve since back-tracked and saved face).
Sometimes, I am more likely to “react” rather than “respond.” What’s the difference?
A reaction is an automatic, kneejerk action. A response, however, is dealing with a situation by considering options and likely outcomes, then choosing the best. It’s thoughtful and reflective.
While we tend to “react“… Scripture shows us that God “responds.”
There are several times the Bible mentions that God is slow to anger. We’re also told he is gracious and compassionate… rich in love. All of these characteristics come from a “respond” mindset rather than a “react” one.
We also see His ability to “respond” in action:
- God could have just thrown in the towel and wiped out the whole earth with the flood… but rather than reacting, He responded by lovingly providing a way for Noah and company.
- God could have destroyed all those intending to stay at the Tower of Babel… but rather than reacting, He responded by scattering them around the world so they would multiply and fill the earth.
- He could have reacted and punished Zerubbabel and the Jews when they decided to stop rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem… but He compassionately responded instead by sending the prophets Zachariah and Haggai for encouragement.
I wonder… do you tend to “react” or “respond?” The bar has been set high.
If we want to be a man or a woman after God’s own heart… we need to learn the art of “responding” to those around us.
Father God, help us be more like you by following your example of lovingly responding to others versus reacting in haste. Give us the ability to be slow to anger, full of compassion, graciousness and love. Thank you for the rich, sweet examples you share with us through your Word. We ask for your divine guidance to be better, love harder and risk more for your Kingdom! Amen.