Let’s think of this word, react, in this way. R-responsible, E-effort, A-at, C-correct, T-times. Responsible effort at correct times will make a great difference in our lives as we respond to stimuli whether positive or negative. Each of us has a choice in our responses and reactions to things happening around us. Sometimes we jump in fear; sometimes we are indifferent. Sometimes we whoop-it-up in joy, and sometimes we whine in sorrow. By now, we are certain that the Word of God has some directives in this matter, but, sad as it may be, we turn an indifferent ear to the absolutes of God’s Holy Word and go on about our normal and abnormal responses and reactions. That is a careless and self-destructive path which in many cases is self-centered.
At this time of year, I always like to refer to Chuck Swindoll’s article. He says,
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Many people are ‘take charge’ people, but there is one thing that they cannot conquer, the attitude, the reactions, the responses. Directives on how to do the job are abundant. Directives on self control is grossly missing. For the one who is the subject of the directives, anger surfaces as the obvious hypocrisy of such a one looms large. The anger is then mirrored in the one giving the directives because they do not receive a favorable response to their directives. Directives without self-control will produce strife, and anger will produce anger. It all boils down to one who has not chosen to control his reactions. Their responsible effort at correct times is sadly deficient. A REACT plan or software needs to be installed in their mental programming.
In our REACT plan, we must not be guilty of dismissing Biblical principles, for it is the ultimate authority. It will give us the grace needed to install and implement our plan.
May we consider this verse? 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Of course, whatsoever includes all those irritable or non-irritable things of life. My REACT plan must include all circumstances whether word or deed. In all things, we must have responsible effort at the correct time.
May we also consider this verse for our plan? Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Moderation is self-control which means that I am responsible for my responses and reactions. My REACT plan or lack of will be my reputation—known to all men. However, the main emphasis is this—the Lord is at hand or present. His presence with me during all situations is real; I must react or respond with the Lord. WWJD is the old acronym for this thought. How would Jesus react—anger, frustration, worry? I don’t think so. Another thought in this phrase, “the Lord is at hand” is that his coming is near. If Jesus were to come at the moment of our response, would we be confident before Him or ashamed? To some, this may be water off a duck’s back, but it is the truth. Jesus knows our responses.
Last, but not finally for there are many more verses to consider, let’s incorporate this verse in to our REACT plan. Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: Gripping, complaining, or arguing is not in God’s plan for my reactions. That is such a simple statement but we sure do disregard it. Fools disregard God’s clear plan for our lives. Psalm 14:1 Today, why not say, “In my responses, I will not gripe.” Grace is available. We can do it.
RESPONSIBLE EFFORT AT CORRECT TIMES