Actions may speak louder than words. But our reactions tell an interesting story that reveals our true character.
Many people try to manipulate the perspective of others through their actions. They try to portray a specific desired identity with the things they say and do. But, our re-actions reveal whether or not our actions are honest.
In his book, Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson writes that “our reactions reveal who we really are” (p.99). I have also heard similar thoughts though the years. I was once told that it is not the hard times in life that define who I am. Instead, it is how I respond to those hard times that will define who I am.
Growing our reaction muscles (reflexes to what happens in life) takes intention. Mark also writes about these instructions that Jesus gave to condition those reflexes:
- Pray for those who persecute you.
- Love your enemies.
- Bless those who curse you.
- If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
- If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
It is not enough, though, to just know how we should respond. We need to be intentional about our responses; and, we need to practice.
We can’t just give up the first time we hit trials and hard times. We have to keep working at it, keep learning from our experiences, and keep striving to do better.
So, how are you known? What do your reactions reveal about you, your character, your attitude, your view towards others? Maybe a better question is how do you want to be known?
Question: Have you had an experience where your reaction to a situation caused others to see something different in you than what the initial situation would have shown? You can share your story by clicking here.
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