Experience has shown that too often, our first reaction to a situation is an overreaction. So many times, when stepping back for a minute or when the initial emotion wears off, we see that it really isn’t that big of a deal.
We are emotional beings. As such, emotions usually kick in before reason. This causes us to say and/or do things that later we regret or, at least, second guess.
As a parent, I have come to realize that my propensity to overreact to little things is reflected in my children and sometimes magnified. This is always a sobering revelation.
It takes an intentional decision followed by ongoing conscious effort to make ourselves pause and get context before we react. The classic old adage of learning to respond vs. react. It goes beyond that though.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5 that a fruit of the Spirit is self-control. If we are people walking in the Spirit of God and living according to His ways, then a product of that will be self-control.
We live in a world that promotes doing what feels good, basing decisions on what feels right, and enjoying the moment. Instant gratification is the standard. This leads to many negative results in our lives personally as well as society as a whole.
If we were to allow God to work in us and self-control was the result of His work, then many issues we deal with would begin to fade and disappear.
Self-control comes from an intentional decision and on-going effort on our part, yes, but without God working in us, it will be incomplete at best. To keep from overreacting to things we need God’s Spirit leading us and working in our lives. As this happens, we will burn less bridges and hurt less people less often. We will also have less regrets.
What are some lessons you’ve learned in this area?