Action in response to a stimulus; of an event, influence, or difficulty

A man has no more character than he can command in a time of crisis. Ralph Sockman

We must interpret a bad temper as a sign of inferiority. Alfred Adler

The wise man does not argue, he remains silent and goes quietly on his path.  White Eagle

   We should find it totally unacceptable when we react to any circumstance in an uncontrolled manner. When acting or re-acting without being in control of our thought processes, the likely result may well be circumstances we regret and wish we could take back or do over. The more automatic our response or reaction may be, the more likely it is to be in rage, anger, or some other undesirable reaction. The more intense or powerful the stimulus or event may be, the more likely our reaction to it will be equal in magnitude.

Most of us have had some of our worst moments when we have acted without thinking, without taking a deep breath, without counting to ten, or without sleeping on it and waiting until the next day. Anytime we lose our “cool” is likely to end badly. Sometimes as soon as our words have erupted, we regret our reaction. We have reacted in such a way that negative consequences of our actions may permanently damage a relationship.

It is much more desirable to respond to events in a controlled and thought out manner; being cool, calm and collected. There is much to be gained by taking time to decide how to react to adverse events and circumstances. We avoid losing control, raising our blood pressure, and all that goes with it. Additionally, we are more likely to respond in an appropriate manner. It is less likely that we will have to engage in damage control to overcome our ill-advised over-reaction. There are no negatives to avoiding reacting in an out of control manner. If the event was something that someone did to us, our reacting in a cool, calm, and collected manner is more likely to cause them to regret their actions. We may be able to avoid the creation of a chain reaction of increasingly escalating and reciprocating events that could end in severe damage to our relationship with that person.

We can get in trouble when we are firing responses from of our subconscious mind. It has a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. It acts in a reflex-like, instinctive manner which is often unwise. We should handle such things consciously; training ourselves to delay, think first, and react in an appropriate manner. We think, and then react. This takes self-discipline and patience. This is something we should very much seek to master.

Challenge:  Do you have a tendency to over-react? Are you aware of your actions when you act in an “out of control” manner? Be prepared to delay and respond in a more controlled manner. Take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away, do whatever is necessary to prevent losing control. You will make fewer mistakes and you will likely have a positive and influential impact on those around you by being someone who can keep their cool.

Wisdom: The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.  Plato

Spiritual: (NIV)

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love: Psalm 145:8

A quick-tempered man does foolish things… Proverbs 14:17

A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

When we react without thinking, it is a reflection of our internal conditions. Anger, ill-temper, even hate that erupts out of us reflects as to what our internal state of affairs is like. Acting from a spirit of love is always the better choice. As difficult as it may be, it is what we should always strive for. Acting only in our own strength, we are limited in always having a loving inner core. It takes the active presence of God in our live to truly love.

Prayer: Please help me to listen to You and replace the undesirable in my life with your loving attitude.


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