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Reacting Versus Responding to Life's Challenges and God's Plan for your Life.

Write the Vision and make it plain.

There are many people that react to any kind of obstacle, setback, or challenge. Reactions are reflexive, ego-driven, and only consider the short-term outcome. Reactions make you feel better, but don’t resolve an issue effectively. It leaves you longing, and eventually, you realize you should have thought this through.

Responding is different. It’s intelligent, practical, and considers the long-term implications of that course of action. You take the time to write out a plan of action.

People that react struggle and are known for making impulsive decisions. Those that respond have fewer struggles in life. The biggest hassles in life are usually of your own making.

Last night, I was reading scripture, and a song came into my head that we used to sing in the choir. Write the vision and make it plain, so that they may run and not faint. Though the vision is only for a while, it shall speak, and not lie. For if the Lord said it, you can count on it, He will do just what he said.

This song always spoke to my heart. I loved singing it when I was part of the choir. So, I found the scripture: Habakkuk 2: 2-3, And the LORD answered me, and said, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3, For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (KJV)

Then the Lord said to me, "Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. 3, This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (NLT)

God is saying in this scripture that whatever God speaks to you, write it down. Listen and hear (consider) what the word of God is saying and saying to you, and take action. Because God will show you the result, He doesn't always give you what to do next but gives you the vision, mission to take action and He will guide you along the way. The result of what He speaks to you will come in time. We have to be patient and wait, but we are not to be stagnant or not work. We are not to react but to respond. Respond with thought and clarity.

Our response to what God give us is important. Are you going to React or Respond? What did God speak to you and how will you react, jump right in without thought or respond and do some research?

Let’s consider an example that highlights the differences between reacting and responding:

Imagine that you have a horrible boss. Today at work, he berates you for something that isn’t your fault. He calls you a mean name. He says that you’re a worthless employee. You leave work enraged and convinced that you can’t take it anymore.

Reacting to this situation might entail quitting in a blaze of glory. You march in the next day and tell him exactly what you think of him, and shove your resignation letter into his or her face.

However, when you get home, you realize the job market is tight; you have no savings and no employment prospects.

Responding to this situation might look something like this:

You determine you need to find another job. Work on your resume. Put out feelers to everyone you know that have or know of a position that’s suitable for you. Get in touch with a recruiter and let them know that you’re looking.

Also, cut back on your expenses and save some money just in case.

One of these options is short-sighted and risky. The other is thoughtful and logical. One is likely to end in misery, while the other is likely to end in success.

How can you strengthen your odds of success when challenges arise?

Following this process will help you respond rather than react:

1. Steady yourself. It’s hard to be intelligent and practical when your emotions are high. Never make an important decision when you’re not calm and collected. Take the time you need. Mull it over. Consider your options.

Philippians 4:13. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you.

2. Identify the problem. What is the issue that you need to resolve? Think about what you want to change. Avoid changing a bunch of other things that may have a negative impact on your life. In the example above, you’d get away from your boss, but drastically change your income, too. Pray for that boss. We don't know what he or she is going through in their lives. 3. Be clear on the outcome you desire. It’s just as important to consider the outcome you desire. You might hate your job, but you don’t just want to get away from it. You’ll want a good landing place, too. 4. Make an intelligent plan. Create a plan that resolves your issue and gives you the outcome you desire. Reacting only removes the initial problem. It doesn’t provide a great outcome. A good plan does both. 5. Execute that plan. Seek direction through the word of God. Use God's plan for your life. There are many people that are great at making plans, but never execute them. You don’t want to be one of those people. Put that plan to the test and see what happens.

If you’re someone that reacts to the challenges in your life, you already know the additional challenges it can bring. It’s the perfect example of “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Trust me when I say reacting to things just brings more problems.

Avoid deciding when you’re upset. Calm yourself first. Then make an intelligent decision that will remove that challenge from your life in a way that leaves you better than you started. Life is much easier this way.

NNB Author's P.O.V.

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