Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Controlling My Reactions

“Satan wants to catch us off guard and use our reactions against us.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the enemy will do anything to ruin God’s plans for me. Satan tempts me, confuses me, makes me doubt, and lies to me. But until I read this quote from Lysa TerKeurst I never thought about how my reactions to people and situations can play right into the enemy’s hands.

After reading it, it stuck with me for the rest of the day, but I was truly surprised when I was convicted the next morning.

There I sat in a meeting that would last all day. I knew from past experience the facilitator could sometimes talk to the point of distraction, and it was frustrating. After he repeatedly interrupted and talked over me and other team members, I lost my patience. I was fuming and wanted to say something to him during the next break.

Lysa’s words came to mind in a personal way…Satan wants to use my reactions against me.

I began to see the situation in a different way. Breaking the facilitator’s stride by pulling him aside was unfair. I knew I didn’t want to do that.

I looked at myself—arms crossed, tense, and ready to mentally check out of the meeting.

…use my reactions against me.

Would I really honor God by tuning out of the meeting? Wouldn’t I instead be a hindrance to the team and cheat myself out of the day’s experience?

I wish I could say that because I realized how I was reacting the day improved dramatically and the team made great strides. No, the day was long and draining, but I learned something. I can feel angry, upset, or hurt, but do I want my reactions to make God’s day or the enemy’s? When I realized that, my anger started to fade.

I have not been able to stop thinking about this. I’ve been asking myself…
Do my reactions control my actions, and lead to regrets?
Do my reactions get the best of me?
Do I allow my reactions to determine the rest of my day?

I’ve heard before that we shouldn’t let someone else’s behaviors have control over us. I’ve never been able to conquer that. I let others ruin my day, and I let my reactions ruin my day. What never occurred to me is that my ruined day is a good day for the enemy.

I have so much of Chapter 4, “You Never Know How God Will Use You Until You Let Him” underlined!  Is there a particular point that stuck with you? Will you share it with us?

God Bless,
Laura

1 comment:

  1. My insight came when I read: He has torn down all the things I had held so dearly about the church and about Christianity. And in the process, I am finding....the Jesus of social justice, mercy, and compassion. The Jesus who did not walk blindly through the earth and not feel the suffering of those around Him. He and the disciples were not tame and safe and nice. There were not a social club with watered down grace....They did not trade that which was eternal for that which was material.

    WOW! Those words have echoed in my head! Jesus and His disciples were not the bunch pictured in The Last Supper....they were not tame or safe or nice......

    How often do I notice people around me who are walking alone through the trials of life unheard and un-noticed.....just like Jesus we are called to notice the people around us and to bring a touch of hope into their lives.

    I want to live tremblingly joyful before the God of radical obedience and radical grace!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!