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Respond vs React - Encouragement Café - September 6, 2016

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Emergency foot removal from mouth STAT - Respond vs React
By Aj Luck
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  >James 1:9 NIV

I’m not going to lie.  I kind of like those emergency reality television shows. I’m amazed at some of the situations that people end up finding themselves.  

Didn’t they think things through?  How in the world did THAT happen?  HOLY COW!  That has to hurt!  I shake my head and think to myself, how can people be so oblivious?

My first experience in the ER was when I was nine years old.  I decided to take my friend’s bike for one final spin down the neighborhood hill before it was time to go inside for dinner.  I had been riding her bike all day with no problems.  THIS time there was a problem.

As I was quickly descending down the hill, the bike locked up, brakes went out and I was running out of options, FAST.  Then… BAM!  I hit the sidewalk at the bottom of the hill, the bike flips up, tosses me over the handlebars and I land face-first onto the concrete.

My first thought?  


Nope!  I wasn’t swearing.  

I was worried that I would miss dinner.  Don’t judge me.  

Another one of my friends saw the whole thing, went and told my mom and off to the ER we went.  Fast-forward a few days, I ended up having surgery to have my mouth wired shut for several weeks.  No Fun.

We are all human.  Things happen.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some terrific.  Some tragic.  

I’m thankful that there are men and women dedicated to helping out in hospitals and emergency rooms in those situations.

However, there is another kind of emergency situation that we tend to find ourselves in.  Have you ever said something to someone and you IMMEDIATELY regret it?  You desperately want to take the words back but can’t?  

Oh ok.  GOOD!  So, I’m not the only one?!

I do this a lot as a wife and a mommy.  I REACT vs RESPOND.  Yes, there is a difference.  Sadly, I had to learn (and am still learning) this the hard way.

God tells us to be ‘slow to speak and quick to listen.’  Easier said than done.

Shhhhh.  Listen first.  I know.  

Our mouths tend to open and spout off before our brains can stop us.  I totally get it.  

There is hope though.  It’s a daily practice.  When something happens that makes you want to react suddenly, try and think back to some of the crazy things that you’ve seen on television that landed people in the ER.  Take ten seconds and imagine yourself in the ER, with a team of doctors trying to extract your foot from your mouth.

Sounds painful and silly, eh?   

During that time, slow down.  Find a way to RESPOND instead of launching out in reaction.  Those ten seconds of silence could be the very lifesaver you or your loved ones may need at that very moment.

Respond in Grace.  Extend it as it has been extended to you.

Exhale as you count to ten- then respond.

Father God, You know me greater than I know myself.  Father, You know that I have tendencies to react versus gracefully respond.  I surrender my tendencies to You today.  God, continue to change me from the inside out.  Enable me to respond in a manner that would please You, in ALL areas of my life.  In Jesus name I ask, Amen.

© 2016 by Aj Luck.  All rights reserved.

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