What’s Your First Reaction?

Have you ever found yourself going along your merry way when suddenly a wrench gets thrown into the peacefulness of your day? The line was longer than you anticipated so you’re running late, you cut your finger prepping dinner, forgot your wallet, feel a tickle beginning in your throat… the list goes on and on. I’m sure as you read this you can think of something that has happened in the past week, or even just today alone, that interrupted the flow of your day. Our reactions to these situations speak volumes.

Sanctification is the lifelong process of becoming more and more like Christ. It is a journey that looks different for everyone; we all have individual struggles and temptations to overcome with Christ. During this process, our reactions to inconveniences or troubling news begin to shift. I can remember times during my pursuit where I felt I had made great progress in self-control and other character development, but then something came in to thwart my plans or throw me off and my reaction surprised me (in a bad way). It seemed like I took leaps and bounds backwards in my journey. It’s easy to respond with kindness and patience when the trials aren’t very testing.

I’ve witnessed people crumble after a difficult phone call; I’ve also seen people unshaken. I’ve cursed with frustration and looked over to see someone unphased in the same situation.

What comes out of your mouth when you stub your toe or hit your funny bone?

How do you deal with getting charged too much on your grocery bill?

Where is your foundation in troubling times?

Just because we respond with anger or impatience does not mean we are right back where we started. There are so many habits and perspectives to unlearn as we feel convicted by them. God has grace and patience when ours fails. Jesus already paid the price for our sinful nature. “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14

I am naturally quite an optimist, finding a “silver lining” in most situations. Finding that positive spin, however, is not always instantaneous. My initial reaction is often of fear, anger, or impatience. I’ve recognized this in myself and work towards a shorter passage of time between the negative perspective and the hopeful outlook. My journey in Christ has not been linear, as progress never is. I go through dry seasons as a result of my own poor habits. I can honestly say, being self-aware during all seasons has made it evident: I have a great need for Christ in my life. Flowing with the Holy Spirit is truly transformative. If you have been a believer for quite some time, try to look back at different seasons in your life and figure out: what were the struggles, what were the triumphs, how did you feel, and how much time were you devoting to the Lord. 

When we narrow our focus to a certain season, our character development may look something like this:

But let’s zoom out and reflect on the entire journey…

Some days you may feel shocked by how little control you have of your tongue or by how much control your mood has on your actions. Other days, you may find yourself shocked by how okay you feel after receiving untimely news. Be aware of your first reactions, correct them as needed, and watch how they transform over time through your journey of sanctification.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23


Meagan | Love Encompassing