Act or React
Recently, I met up with a long-time friend for a few hours. We discussed a lot of wide ranging topics. We fixed most of the world’s problems, if people would just do what we say! One of our discussion topics was what a tough job it is to be a policeman today. My friend said that he had a friend who is a policeman. He had asked the man, “How do you do it?” The man replied, “First, I am calm by nature. Second, I am trained not to react. I am trained to know what to do in various situations.” Those comments really stuck in my mind.
Later, I was watching an episode of “Blue Bloods”. In this episode, an officer was arresting a suspect. The suspect made some very rude and degrading remarks. The officer reacted by being extra rough to the one he was arresting. My mind went back to what my friend told me. This officer was not acting, but reacting. This also got me thinking about my walk with Jesus. Do I act or do I react? God wants me to be trained by the Bible. When I am well trained, I will not react rashly in the heat of the moment. I will act like Christ no matter what.
“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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV) Here is the rule of thumb, “No matter what you say or do, I should act in a loving way towards you!” Are you living by this rule? Do you plan to act like Christ, no matter what? Or are you letting others rule you by reacting to others the same way they act towards you? No, it is not easy. But the only way you are going to overcome worldly reactions is by being prepared with Christ-like actions before you even enter the arena of daily life. May God bless us all in this great task. Don’t react. Act!
Written by my friend Jimmy Hodges