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19 July – How To Stop Reacting


I witnessed an unfortunate exchange between a customer and a young shop assistant today. The woman was obviously irritated about something and was taking it out on the shop assistant which nearly had the young girl in tears. It was all very nasty and awful to see how one person can allow their temper to cause so much harm to another.

The sad fact, especially at the moment is that we can all become strung out and upset, which leads to us not always being in control of our emotions. However if anything good can come of what I witnessed today is that it really is important to not allow the circumstances we may be facing to cause us to lash out at innocent people. Instead pause and remember that when we are “losing it” over seemingly insignificant things that there will be underlying, unresolved issues festering that we would be wise to examine.

The longer we leave issues “festering”, the yuckier they get and the more annoying we can be to others. God’s best for us is that we have peace and rest in our lives and that we seek to treat others with kindness and consideration. There is a way to get things done, but we don’t need to be awful and rude in the process.

Here are some thoughts to help us stop reacting with those outbursts which only bring harm to ourselves and those we lash out at. 

1. Take a good look at yourself –Stop and ask, “Why am I reacting in this situation. How am I feeling and has something happened recently that I need to process and work through? In other words deal with your stuff and get some help if you need to.

2. Morning pages –The habit of writing down first thing in the morning 3 pages of whatever is on our mind. You’ll be surprised what practicing this simple technique will reveal is going on in our heart and mind and how often God has been speaking everyday.

3. Quiet time with Jesus – Spending time with Jesus and allowing His word to wash through our hearts and minds helps us to keep our lives in balance. The Holy spirit reveals our hearts to us, and shines a spotlight on anything we might have missed or pushed aside. When we listen He will reveal and help us to deal with and offload our concerns and burdens so we stop reacting to life so much.

4. Is there anything you want to say Jesus? –When we are feeling misunderstood, judged, are unsure what to do, feel unhappy or anxious, or have gotten ourselves and our inner world into an angry, stressed muddle, the first thing to ask ourselves is, “Is there anything that Jesus needs to speak to me about? “Is my heart condemn and conscience bothered and trying to tell me anything?”

If Jesus is speaking about something in particular or our conscience is bothering us then  acknowledge it, admit if we have done something wrong, and bring it to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:19)

5. Do something fun and relax – When we are relaxed we think and process better and gain perspective about what really matters in life and remember not to “sweat the small stuff” so much. 

6. Sit down and talk –There is something about sitting down and having a good heart to heart with people who love and care about you that is vital for healthy lives, relationships. When we don’t do that, or others don’t take the time with us a whole world of trouble can erupt.

It’s why it’s worth making the time to build “heart to heart connections” with those in our world. If we or someone else is reacting or “losing it” but we’ve taken the time to build strong heart connections, we can usually work through things a lot quicker.

Jesus knows that our lives are going to involve circumstances that may pressure and even annoy us. But He has a way to do life that enables us to live beyond the realms of how the world operates. (Galatians 5:16) The key is to listen to Him and have the wisdom to stop and check how we are going regularly.

Make a decision today to be both aware of what God is saying to you; and to be self and others aware too. If you are reacting, take some time to assess why? If others are “acting out” around you, don’t respond by reacting negatively. Perhaps find some time to have a “heart to heart” and find out what is really going on.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Prayer: Lord help me to be more aware of my inner world and to hear when you are speaking to me. I don’t want to go through life reacting and “losing it”. Forgive me where I have been doing that, and help me to live a more peace filled, joyful life. In Jesus Name Amen.

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