Stop and think before you act!
I must admit that I don’t always have a loving disposition towards people I dislike, nor do I act right when situations are not aligned with how I want them to be. However, as a Christian, I am called to a higher standard. For most of us, there will be times when people or circumstances push us close to the edge and when that happens, we must be careful of the way we respond. Consider the two scenarios below and think about your reaction:
1. At work, the boss gave the promotion you worked hard for, and pinned your hopes on getting, to someone less qualified. Then he assigned you to work with the person on a project. She’s loud and arrogant, and the two of you didn’t get along even before the promotion. Additionally, your work styles were different. She loved being the center of attention, monopolizing the meetings with graphs and charts, while you prefer getting down to the fundamentals of doing the job.
2. At home, you have a certain way you do things—dishes washed and stacked, bed made up each morning, rooms vacuumed, and everything in its place. A house guest arrives, and everything goes out of whack—water dripping from counter tops, towel on the bathroom floor, makeup smeared across the mirror, and bed unmade with clothes tossed on top.
In both cases, there is a personality conflict as well as high emotional distress. Imagine being in either situation, your stomach in knots as you think about how to deal with the situation. Would you allow your temper to flare and have a heated confrontation, indulge in passive-aggressive behavior, or silently endure the pain? Switch roles—what if you were the person who’s the sloppy house guest and the one who got the promotion? Are you aware of your actions or oblivious?
As you think about the answers to these questions, know that it’s not about being perfect. In our humanity, we all say and do dumb things. However, if your impulse is to react negatively, you need an attitude adjustment…the way you walk/talk, do so no more. The examples above may not have been your experiences, but I am sure there were occasions when you wished you had reacted differently. What a great thing to have a warning system so that when people or situations agitate us, a gong would sound off in our heads! We would be on automatic pilot to think before we act.
Most times, I would quickly recognize when I am not being my best self and change my attitude so as not to go down a dark path. The other times when I don’t react as swiftly, I would still know in my heart that I needed to correct my actions. As Maya Angelou stated, “When you know better, do better.” So, when life throws you curveballs, I hope you would demonstrate your spiritual nature by adjusting your attitude of approaching people and responding to situations in a positive way. Not there yet? God didn’t bring you this far to leave you…There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. Philippians 1:6 MSG