“It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye


Are you a reactor or a responder?

I sat with a dear friend last week who recently took an in-depth personality analysis with her family and discovered that she’s a reactor. She reacts to every other personality within her environment.

 I believe I’m a reactor too. The older I get, however, the more I realize how exhausting this can be.

 I’m slowly trying to train myself to be a responder instead of a reactor.

First responders do a world of good in the midst of chaos and tragedy. I hope to be the same way.

 Here’s an example:

My mom fell and broke her hip six weeks ago. We almost lost her several times, due to complications, in the process of hospitalization and surgery and there were a few days where she was at risk of never walking again.

In the middle of the night on many occasions I was tempted to book the 3,000 mile trek from Seattle to Philadelphia to be with my dear mom. Had I made the decision it certainly would have encouraged her, no harm would have been done, but would it have been the best decision? 

It would have been a reactive decision instead of a responsive decision.

As hard as it was to choose a prayerful response in this situation instead of an emotional reaction, I am now with my mom when she most needs me, not when I most need her.

Reacting is selfish.

Reacting is emotional.

Reacting is impulsive.

 I think we’ve believed a lie that reacting shows more love.

 Responding, however, sees the bigger picture.

 Responding is prayerful. We give ourselves the opportunity to listen to the Holy Spirit.

 Responding could save you money, improve your health, brighten your outlook.

 In the case of my mom, responding brings me to her home when I am most needed for her. That is love!

 Are you reacting or responding?

 Take a moment. Stop and look at your decisions. Your relationships.

 Join me in my upcoming blog series that will walk you though my decision making method based on Jeremiah 6:16.

 It will help you respond, instead of react.


Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)