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React or Respond. It’s Your Choice



This new season...

We are all entering a season of change. A new day for us all to make of it what we will. Adapting to change is necessary. We will all for certain experience change we like in life and change we resist in life. How we respond to the changes is what is important.

I have been seeking discernment and guidance to strengthen my heart, body and mind regarding change that is outside of my control as well as change I want to initiate that will impact me and others.


James.

I've been drawn to the book of James. If you've never read it - honor yourself by spending time to. It's short- yet so meaningful to living the best life.


If you don't have a bible there are wonderful free apps. Over the next few days I may share with you some thoughts and also what James taught.

I write these things for myself - and if they help you or inspire you too - that is an extra blessing for me.


I'm a work in progress. I stumble every day. I'm thankful for grace and God’s unwavering and unconditional love for me. And for you.


James 1:16 "every desirable and beneficial gift comes from heaven. God’s righteousness doesn't grow from anger - Lead with your ears, follow with your tongue, let anger straggle in the rear."

Anger. Straggle from the rear. Don't mess with it.


Lead with your ears. Listen to the whispers from Heaven. Lest we miss out on goodness in the midst of evil and strife.


What do you do when you feel angry about the way someone acts or has treated you? It may not be possible to control their actions - but the way you react or respond is fully within your grasp.


Have you ever struggled working with people who are low performers, want to be status quo, who do not want to innovate or see change as a chance - or perhaps you have worked with people who find their accolades by masquerading as you and taking credit for work you’ve done - or perhaps you give of yourself in a personal or professional relationship and the gifts are taken with none given in return - or perhaps someone you’ve known finds dark joy in hurting you because that seems to somehow soothe the chasm of their own hatred or inability to love themselves enough let alone you.

It is in these types of instances when the easy thing to do is be angry. There’s a saying that “hurt people hurt people”,

As a leader it’s difficult to determine when to not say something and when something needs to be said.


Whether personally or professionally - I truly want people to thrive and find roles where they best fit. I don’t want to drag people with me if they don’t want to go on a journey I’m paving.


As I reflect today perhaps these lessons from James will resonate for you on someone or some experience of your past or perhaps even on something you’re experiencing right now.


I can recall one time I was fed up during an experience and my feelings about passive inactivity caused me to be angry instead of trying to think about how to help that person find a way to be brave enough to go find something that they could be happier doing.

I didn’t act from a place of wisdom then. But have learned from the experience since.

As I thought of that situation and person - and it’s been quite some time now since that experience - a few thoughts came to my mind .


As I think back - I moved on.

-That person didn’t. They still perform at less than peak performance.


But who determines what the peak is? Me? No.


I started to think that perhaps they felt where they were doing what they do at the pace they do it is good enough - they’re perhaps content.


If you’re feeling discontent - explore why. If you’re surrounded by people that just aren’t marching to the same drum as you - make a conscious choice to stay or go.

A wise friend once told me “if you can’t change the people around you - change the people around you.”

Not everyone wants to run or even be on a pathway of progress - or at least the pathway of your progress.


You can’t help everyone nor bring everyone with you.


You may also have found yourself walking on the pathway forged by someone else and find that it isn’t paved for you.


But through seeking wisdom and praying you can help yourself get clarity, improve your mindset and way you respond (not react) in life.


Instead of being angry at a situation or person who no longer adds value to one thing and one area - keep in mind this invisible path…that person likely wants to be happy and wants to add value to some area - just different from what you would choose.


Or that situation that makes you uncomfortable may be in your space to make you just uncomfortable enough to awaken you to move.

We can’t force people into the plans we have. In fact sometimes we are uncomfortable with the plans God has for us too!

But he just asks that we trust him and have faith that what he is doing is for our good and better than what we could ourselves.


There are changes taking place in your own home. At your own place of work. In your own community. And for certain in whatever country you live in. This planet spins every day with change. Some changes we like. Some we resist.

We can face changes with fear or embrace them with optimism, hope, and faith - trusting that the Creator of the Universe has a plan and we just get to be a part of its great unfolding.

God is not surprised at this world. While hate hurts Him - fighting and hate has been happening since the beginning of time when the first angels fell from heaven. They will continue fighting until the day comes when it will be finished permanently and for all of eternity.


There is an end game here.

We know how the story ends.

We just need to be strong enough to see our way one step closer to it.


Again - God is not surprised at this world. He wants us to hear Him, love Him, love others, and seek righteousness - until we return to heaven.


What impact will you leave? Will it leave positive indelible marks? Or damaging divots and pits. You have a choice. This isn't about others. This is about you.

This is about mindshift, leadershift, and a heart condition.


Don’t get so caught up in what we can’t control.

  • Focus on what you can do to make your own heart and mind better.

  • Your own home better.

  • Maybe you can do something to make your own community even a bit better.

But when we contribute to discord to purposely hurt others, or when we feel one thing and are not open to having endearment for others who feel or think another thing - we all lose.


God wants us to learn from these changes.

This is a heart issue.

  • Our government leaders - have a heart issue.

  • Our communities and neighbors have a heart issue.

  • Our friends and family have a heart issue.

  • Most importantly we have a heart issue.


The matters of the heart is what James taught me today. The condition of my heart daily needs attention. Maybe today it does for you also.


  • How will you show up today, this week, this year?

  • What path are you on and do you need to shift your journey?

  • Who do you have around you?

  • Do they bring out your best and is your impact or contribution bringing out the best in them?


React or respond. It’s your choice. When you don’t know - seek wisdom. God wants to lavish it upon you. But you have to ask for it.

This is what I'm thinking about for myself today.

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