Moving Beyond Reaction

coffee30.jpgThey are everywhere!

People who just react.  People who drain the life out of gatherings as they react to others in ways that are immature, curt, and abrupt.  Like letting the air out of a balloon, they have a way of deflating most any conversation.  Even worse, they are often allowed to deflate the dreams and the spirit of very fine men and women.

I really don’t want to be like that.  Do you?  I identify with the questions raised in The Leader’s Journey, a fine work by Jim Herrington, R. Robert Creech, and Trisha Taylor:

"How do I get to the place where I am consistently able to choose a response rather than simply to react?  How can I grow emotionally and spiritually to the place where I am capable, more often than not, of choosing what I believe to be God’s will in my role as leader rather than yielding to the pressures to do something else?   This is the transformational journey."  (p. 23)

The authors believe that this journey is rooted in the living and active presence of Jesus.  He is the dynamic presence who is present with us at every moment.  This transformation is all encompassing.  

Part of this transformation involves a process of maturity that moves us toward taking our cues from Jesus instead of other people.  To again quote the authors:

"Differentiation is the ability to remain connected in relationship to significant people in our lives and yet not have our reactions and behavior determined by them."  (p. 18)

I believe this is incredibly important.   I would enjoy hearing your response to these two quotes.


I am thankful for patient tutors.  My two daughters have been very patient as I am still trying to figure out Facebook.  (For a link to my page see the "About" section to the right.)  Meanwhile, my friend Scott Meyer patiently tutored me through setting up the God-Hungry Live video site.  (Again, the "About" section to the right.)  

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Moving Beyond Reaction

  1. My husband and I are currently working with a Christian lady in our church who constantly reacts to all the responses that come her way from all directions.  Her husband is against her b/c he cares about the pain in her side and wants her to go to the doctor.  She feels pressure from him.  Her kids are against her b/c they react as they have seen their parents react, and their immaturity offends her, b/c she is immature herself. Her view of reacting goes to the extent that people who die, did that to hurt her.  I believe that our days are numbered and even before we were born, God knew the day of our birth and the day of our death. Death is a fact of life, not a way of hurting others intentionally. Since working with this lady, I can so relate to your blog entry here.  My husband said even back when we were dating, "Nobody makes you mad.  You choose to be mad."  Through the years, we have learned to not take offense at what others say, and because of that we don’t allow others to control how we feel or how we react.  It’s a great release, and helps us to laugh!  🙂   Thanks again for sharing here and helping us to grow spiritually. 

  2. There is a lot to be said for growth.  The other day I found an archive of some posts I made in 1999 to an e-mail discussion list.  A few were good, but towards the end I really came off as pushy and short-tempered.  Even in the earlier posts I used too many caps.  Then again, I didn’t have any way to make italics at that time on my e-mail, and we were all just figuring out online etiquette in those days.

  3. Jonell,Reading about your friend was a reminder to me of just how exhausting this state of mind really is.  Thanks so much for what you shared and for the reminder of how freeing it is to not allow others to control our reactions or feelings.