React or Respond. It’s your choice. Most of us react, it’s the “normal” behavior with which we are most “comfortable.” It’s how the “flesh patterns” with most of us react to “stimulus.” We just go through the day and do not know any different. The first challenge is to become aware of the difference between reaction and response.
Reaction comes very quickly and it is “off the cutf.”without thinking, way of acting or speaking back AT someone. AT someone. . It’s coming AT someone with your opinion, advice, hurt, anger, frustration, arrogance or fear. Fear fuels reactions like gasoline on a flame. (Yes, this comes after the Forest Fire Post, as God’s intention.) Reaction can picture out as a face to face confrontation.
Response looks different. It is someone who waits, puts space between an event or words, without immediate intersession. It may feel odd because it is different than the “wordily way.” It honors the person’s request, or communication with time. Imagine if someone said, very genuinely, “Thank you for your honesty. Let me consider, carefully what you’ve said and get back to you.” If the person is a Christian and they practice this space as God space, then it is a rich “wait.” The waiting time can be minutes or days, etc because the person is processing the information and waiting on the Holy Spirit to counsel their response. Responses defer to the leading of the Spirit. Response never comes AT someone. Response comes along side. . . And walks with. . .
Our flesh is wired to react, our “spirit man” is wired to respond with love, grace and honesty. Relationships are messy because the reaction/response dance is stumble and bumble at best. One person expects a reaction, and you give them a response and misunderstanding ensues. One person reacts and the other person had hoped for a gentle response. More misunderstanding. It obvious that if both people are aware and know how to implement responsive offerings, then communication is relationship building more often. A response~response interaction with the selfless love of God, brings intimacy of the three in one: God/Husband/Wife.
A responsive offering has a spark of Glory in inviting life into the relationship. I’m not an angel. I know more about reactions than I do responses. But, thankfully due to time in God’s word and wise companions, I do know the difference. I work hard at responding in the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Especially when the issues carries heart weight for the other person. It’s not easy, but it is a Kingdom Skill worth practicing. There are instances of Jesus in reaction, such as when He over turned the money tables in the temple (Matthew 21:12). But to the best of my knowledge, the responsive love of Jesus dominates Scripture. Often a response is a good question. . .A Prayer. . .Or a Touch. . .Matthew 9:20