That mosquito which incessantly buzzes in our ear — our impulse is to react and to whack it.
The neighbor who keeps letting his dog decorate our golf course lawn with little gifts — our impulse is to react…
Or the drivers on the road every day …
Or the events in our daily news, which are hardly good news, challenge us to decide how to respond.
When someone or some situation irritates us, let’s chose to respond rather than react with either bitterness, or rage, or anger, or brawling, or slander.
We may be right, at least in our mind, but if feel resentful and react with choose to react with any of the above, what good is achieved?
Instead of nursing a grudge or waiting for the other person, let’s chose to be first to respond and reach out.
A Nigerian adage (source unknown) proclaims “In times of chaos, choose to build bridges rather than walls.”
Someone else’s action neither validates nor invalidates our decision to choose to respond.
But how to respond?
A leader from centuries ago, Paul, wrote to a divided and even contentious community in Ephesus Greece, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)