Pausing Before We Respond

When we are passionate about something or someone it can motivate us to make a decision when we need to get something accomplished. So this is good thing.  If we didn’t feel strongly about what’s happening we might procrastinate to the point of neglect. Nevertheless, when we act too quickly we are vulnerable to messing things up for ourselves and others. It is very easy to make poor choices or act poorly because we are so wrapped-up emotionally. It is natural to want to act or make quick or hasty decisions when our passions run high. Yet it is better to pause and think about what is happening so we can respond in a better way. 

There is a Scripture that encourages us to pause when passions run high. In the book of James we read, let every person, be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath; for the anger of man does not produce the right way to live before God. When we do this the chances of responding well and making better decisions are greatly increased. We should also know that we might need to pause in minutes, hours, weeks, or years. Timing is often crucial. 

While pausing we should consider if our action or decision is helping or hurting our relationship with God. This is important for the people of faith because, above all, we want to please God. Secondly, does our action or decision appeal to our higher or lower nature. This will help us to know where are feelings are coming from. The Holy Spirit and our conscience will help us with this, providing we are trying to stay close to God. Thirdly, does what I am about to do or say help or hurt others. The people of faith are required to treat others the way they want to be treated. This must be part of the decision making process. 

Joseph Hutchison

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