“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Colossians 3:2 (NKJV)
When someone comes up to you and says something that you don’t agree with, how do you reply? Do you choose to react to the situation or do you respond to it? When I think about the meaning to both of those words, to react or to respond, I interpret reacting as your initial emotions or your “first instincts,” whereas, with responding, it implies more of processing of information. James said it best when he said,
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath";
Let’s say, for instance, that you choose to respond instead of react, this still requires another sifting process. We need to be careful not to think about it and get angry and respond out of anger. If we choose to apply Ephesians 4:29, then it proves how much we really need to filter out. Ephesians 4:29 goes as follows,
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
When you apply that filter to your response, it causes you to no longer respond out of anger, but out of love. Granted, I know we don't always want to respond in that way. Believe me, I'm preaching this idea to myself more than anyone else. For me, I have a tendency to react, not respond, and when I choose to react, whether out of humiliation, or anger, or frustration, that's when I'm not being love. Those are the times that I regret saying what I said.
I heard a quote earlier today that goes as follows,” Save your bullets.” It probably sounds really random right off the bat, but think about it like this, is it worth it? Is this something that we really need to fight to win? Is this a hill to die on? There are times where we will have to defend the truth and stand up for what is right, but that's not always the case. We don't always have to go fighting every single battle that comes our way because soon enough, you won't have any more ammo. We need to be careful with our words and how we respond to situations. I need to be careful with my words and how I respond to a situation.