React or Respond?
Have you ever noticed how much we let others around us affect us, our joy, our peace, and our happiness? What about when you may have been offended by something someone said or did relating to you? Do you realize that you choose how you respond and how things affect you? If someone “steals your peace”, it’s only because you allowed them to.
Messiah is our peace. As long as we have Messiah, nothing else that happens matters. People come and go; they say and do things that will hurt you or others. None of that matters though, blow it off as it means nothing and is nothing. YHWH is our peace, be at peace, at rest knowing you have Him on your side. People come and go, words and actions come at go, but only the truth remains in the end. A person’s perception of you or your actions have little consequence; they make snap judgments and act, respond. The reality is, they are unimportant; what matters is your relationship with the Creator, accessible to you because of the Son. Live your life the way your God desires of you and the rest will all fall away as nothing. Do not dwell on what people say or do as it does not matter; they are just people and have their own issues to deal with. We live in a world of instantaneous reactions. We respond to media, instantly. We want to know something, we access it on the Internet, instantly. We want food now, we buy fast food or use the microwave. We live in a world of self-gratification; one that only reacts to the world, not one that responds.
There is a difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is emotional response, something pre-programmed and occurs without thought. A response is something trained, honed, considered and looks at the situation from the outside. Responding is reacting with intent. Someone is lashed out against verbally, their emotions respond and guide their actions initially. It’s during this time that one needs to not act as emotions serve the flesh. A person sees a child in danger in the street, they respond instantly. The difference here is that the actions are carefully considered and determined by the situation, not by the emotion. We are “trained” to watch out for little kids who do not know better; to go and take care of them. We respond based on a situation, not on our emotions.
Do not be as little children, untrained and responding through their emotions (reacting). Instead, consider the situation and realize things in this life are temporary. What someone says or does against you is not important. Move on, do not carry the emotional weight of their words or actions, it is a burden you are not created to bear. Instead only carry the burden of the knowledge that you have Messiah, you are to live for the Creator, not His creation. Vengeance is YHWH’s, He will repay justly (Deuteronomy 32:35). When we live ruled by our emotions we allow the world to govern and rule over us; putting those things above the Creator and His will. Do what must be done, but not by letting your emotions rule you, make them subject to the Word; taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Live for Him, not for them.
For more on a related topic regarding taking offense, please see our teaching titled: "It Was A Matter of Self-Offense".