July 24, 2014

Respond Not React

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 24, 2014

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

A reaction is an immediate retaliation from someone who is led by emotions. They react in anger when they feel insulted. They withdraw when they feel left out. They react with gossip when they feel mistreated. They react defensively when they feel criticized. A reaction is easy because it is a base behavior that operates without boundaries. A hasty reaction happens in the moment and many times leads to regret. The flesh reacts, but the Spirit leads us to respond.

A measured response, on the other hand delays its interaction until it processes in prayer. So when we receive an email that provokes our pride or hurts our feelings, we refrain from firing back an immediate defense. We remind ourselves that email is helpful for information, but a less effective communicator. Or a friend or family member makes a disrespectful remark about us at a social gathering. We wait and talk with them after several days, so we can respond with logic, not emotion. We discuss with them how to keep our relationship whole, not fractured.

“By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance” (Proverbs 25:15, The Amplified Bible).

Therefore, when your blood pressure rises, pause and ask Christ to guard your heart with His peace. When your mind goes to a worse case scenario, ask the Lord to renew your thinking to see His bigger picture at work. When your throat drys and your lips are parched, let the Holy Spirit lubricate your speech with grace. When the hairs stand up on your arm, remember your heavenly Father knows the number of hairs on your head, so He can handle this event or person. Another’s arrogance is agitating, but your humble response invites a calm conversation. Respond in love.

Jesus modeled a loving response in place of an angry reaction (John 7:20-24). He was accused of being demon-possessed, but instead of insulting their ignorance, He appealed to their intellect by invoking their knowledge of Moses. And He went on to logically explain why it’s ok to heal a broken body on the Sabbath. Indeed, Christ in us gives us a calm spirit to respond rationally and with respect. Our Spirit-led response will bear spiritual fruit. The Lord will use our soft answer to soften a heart in need of a Savior. We pray they will respond to Jesus in saving faith.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me pause to respond with respect and love, not in hasty judgment.

Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 10:4; Matthew 12:36; Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:8

Post/Tweet today: The Lord will use our soft answer to soften a heart in need of a Savior. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Minute with Maxwell on Kindness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_JGPmc1crw 

Free eBook when you invite 5 friends to the free email devotional…https://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/


Comments

  1. Ana says:

    THank you for this profound word today I believe God is speaking to me in the part “Therefore, when your blood pressure rises, pause and ask Christ to guard your heart with His peace. When your mind goes to a worse case scenario, ask the Lord to renew your thinking to see His bigger picture at work. When your throat drys and your lips are parched, let the Holy Spirit lubricate your speech with grace. When the hairs stand up on your arm, remember your heavenly Father knows the number of hairs on your head, so He can handle this event or person.” today and I thank you for this word.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Ana~
      Thank you for reaching out to Wisdom Hunters regarding the devotional, “Respond Not React”. Don’t you love when God speaks directly to us through His Word, a devotional, other people or circumstances? He loves us so much that He “puts” the words He wants us to see right in of us.
      Loving, Caring, Amazing Father, we thank you!!!
      I can only imagine that you speak for other fellow wisdom hunters that “needed” to see those words, too (I KNOW that I needed to!!)
      Besides the “health benefits” of pausing our reactions and processing them in prayer, there was yet another benefit that I was reminded of as I read “Respond Not React”. That was the blessing described at the end of the devotional: “Our Spirit-led response will bear spiritual fruit. The Lord will use our soft answer to soften a heart in need of a Savior. We pray they will respond to Jesus in saving faith”.
      When you stop to think about the many blessings that come out of responding with the love of Christ, our eyes open up to the importance of responding not reacting.
      Thank you Ana, we always love hearing from fellow wisdom hunters and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      Blessings to you and yours.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
      Worship the Lord with gladness;
      Come before Him with joyful singing.
      The Lord, He is God.
      Psalm 100: 1-3

  2. lynn mcfeely says:

    This devotional was sent to me directly from my Father!!! Wow, I have a cousin whom I love dearly and she hasn’t to my knowledge asked Christ to be her Savior yet. When a political posting came up I should have just deleted it but no I had to react and it went down hill real fast from there. I was so sorry. Now I’ve been praying for several days for God to please help fix the damage I caused. It doesn’t matter to me who was wrong or right, The whole thing was pointless to me now. Thanks for the devotional, it was so timely. Thank You, Lord Jesus!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Lynn~
      Thank you for reaching out to Wisdom Hunters after reading the devotional,”Respond Not React”. I am thankful you were blessed by it and rejoice in the fact that the Holy Spirit spoke to you through the words in the devotional.
      I hope that your cousin comes to know our Savior as you do. I can tell by your comments that this cousin means a great deal to you. You sound like a special person and I can only imagine your caring nature is a “shining light” of God’s love.
      One of my favorite sentences in this devotional is just three little words but it speaks volumes : “Respond in love”. How simple, but sometimes it can be hard (and I am speaking for myself and many other fellow wisdom hunters when I say that…).
      Thank you again for reaching out to us. We always love to hear from our Wisdom Hunters family.
      We are so thankful for you!
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “The Almighty is my shepard, the Rock of Israel, who helps me and blesses me with blessings of the heavens above.”
      Genesis 49:24-25

  3. I normally don’t respond to your email blasts but i do read and look forward to them all the time. Today, this one really hit home for me and I just want to tell you, thank you. Thank you for having the gift of discernment and wisdom from God and love for his people. Please continue to publish these wonderful insights because they are very helpful. Do not get discouraged when you don’t get all the comments or it appears like no one is reading. We are!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Meochia~
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and encouraging words in regards to the Wisdom Hunters devotional, “Respond Not React”. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know that you were blessed by reading the devotional and we give ALL THE GLORY TO GOD!
      There was “something” about this devotional that spoke to many of our fellow Wisdom Hunters. God has so much to say to His children about our relationships with others, if we just take the time to listen.

      “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

      One of my favorite sentences in this devotional was three simple words. “Respond in love”. Wow! That says so much, doesn’t it?

      Thank you again, Meochia, for reaching out to us. We always enjoy hearing from our Wisdom Hunters family.
      Blessings to you and yours.

      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will in Christ Jesus.”
      1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


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