Why We Should Respond with Grace
“A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them.” (Proverbs 29:11 GW)
You can’t control much of what happens to you in life. Like I mentioned a few days ago in these devotionals, you can’t control who your parents are, where you were born, and a variety of other factors that have a significant influence on your life.
But you can choose how you react to what life throws your way. You can get angry or stressed out or shrink into depression when slights come at you — or you can respond gracefully.
The choice is always yours. The Bible says, “A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them” (Proverbs 29:11 GW). To live responsibly, we must put our minds in gear before we put our mouths in gear. We must think before we act.
When others cause pain in our lives, we often respond by trying to get even. Ironically, in our effort to “get even” with a person who has wronged us, we do get even. We sink to the other person’s level.
God calls us to a much greater response: forgiveness.
When you’re mistreated, the proper reaction isn’t to blow up or clam up. Both are irresponsible. Instead, God calls us to respond to slights with calmness, love, and truth.
Here’s the bottom line: Trust God to settle the score. He has much better resources to do that than you do.
Talk It Over
What strategies can you use when you’re hurt so you don’t react without thinking?
Why is learning to control your reactions an issue of faith?
How can other people in your life hold you accountable as you learn to more responsibly control your reactions?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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