Sunday, June 23, 2013
Before You React: Rest, Reflect and Revisit
Psalm 4:4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
When you are in a relationship, there are bound to be disagreements. This is true in any relationship. Disagreements occur between spouses, significant others, parent/child, siblings, friends, neighbors…the list could go on and on. When disagreements occur, most people react negatively. In the verse above, we are told not to be controlled by anger, but to think about it overnight and to remain silent. Silent? Really? The NIV says “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” This plainly tells us not to react quickly when we are angry. It isn’t a sin to be angry, but we can’t let those feelings control how we react to a situation. Words that are said in an argument can’t be taken back, and although they might be forgiven, they are rarely forgotten.
When two people decide they are going to get married and share a life together, disagreements will occur because these are two DIFFERENT people. When these things pop up, our reaction is the key. The smallest part of a ship, the rudder, guides the whole thing. Our tongue is our rudder: small, but powerful. Read this personal story shared by our contributor, Kathy.
I am the type of person that likes to step away from disagreement, be alone for a bit, and then talk. My husband of 36 years has never been like that. He wants to resolve and move on. Many times I have been guided by the Holy Spirit not to say something, and oops! It comes out. Then it seems that a bigger argument ensues. I should listen to the Holy Spirit the first time.
What about disagreements with our children? The same rules apply. Instead of reacting quickly, taking a “time out” helps keep perspective and respect in the relationship. Each child is different. We can say the same thing to each of them and they will take it totally differently. It’s hard to change the way we parent to accommodate each individual’s need to get our point across without hurting them, but it’s important to try.
So, what can we do:
Rest- Rest is essential to functioning normally physically and emotionally. If we ask, God will work in us while we sleep. He is faithful. You’ll never regret waiting on the Lord to change your perspective overnight.
Reflect Remember that if we try to do everything in love, it will work out. React less, reflect more.
Revisit After you have rested and reflected, revisit the issue by discussing it calmly. Be careful not to brush it off the next morning. It is very easy to wake up and brush the whole disagreement under the rug. The more that happens, the easier it is to do. After time, this can put a wedge in your relationship. You need to be open and honest, while being respectful with any and all responses.
Passages to ponder:
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
James 1:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Father, I ask you to be with each person reading this, and to help them know that You are faithful and that Your mercies are new and fresh every morning. Work in us while we sleep to change our perspective into yours. If there are people reading this that are having trouble resting due to stress or time constraints or whatever life is throwing at them, please grant them the rest that they need. Help us all to think carefully before we speak, and to be have a spirit that is willing to listen and reflect before we do. Amen
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda, Tammy Holtzapfel and Kim McClure