'Day One' Blog

Respond or React

HeartBrain

A man’s steps are of the Lord;
how then can a man understand his own way?
~ Proverbs 20:24 ~

RESPOND: to do something in reply.
REACT: to do something in reply, emotionally.

If you read Launch Points, you’ve thought a bit about whether you launch predominantly from your heart or your head. This delves a bit deeper.

What most characterizes you as you encounter people and circumstances?

measured,
balanced,
careful,
thoughtful,
pragmatic,
grounded,
intentional.
~
triggered,
hasty,
spontaneous,
impulsive,
impetuous,
off-kilter.

I’m speaking more about a default reply that shows up in the normal course of a day….just daily life. It’s important to point out, you can launch from your head and be predominately reactive. Conversely, you can be a heart launcher & thoughtfully (heartfully?) pause, allowing for a response rather than a reaction.

There is no definitive ideal one way or the other except to consider that you will enjoy (as will those in your path), a quieter, mentally calmer existence as a responder. Most stimuli in the typical daily routine would benefit from a response rather than a reaction. Not all, but most. If you never react, you are probably missing the ‘moments’ that call for raw, emotional replies.

I remember missing one of those moments as a teenager. I received a phone call from a record company that was courting me, asking me if I would sign a recording contract with them. This was the dream phone call. I had a friend visiting who began to cry, overjoyed at the news. I was 100% in my head and pragmatic and matter of fact. I missed it completely. By the time it trickled down to my emotions the moment was far gone and I was by myself. That’s actually a painful memory, because I grieve for a young girl unable to access her emotions at such a key moment.

We’re very complex people. But there is great power in being aware of our nuances and those of our close inner circle of people. Once again, I think of the dramatic changes in the apostle Paul and in the apostle Peter after their respective encounters with Jesus. Both men were transformed, their stories documented for our benefit. Both men had a massive control shift, their respective tendencies now under the sway of the One directing their steps.

What do I see in myself that testifies to transformative encounters with God; that tell me for certain, I am coming more and more into the fullness of who He made me to be? God brings freedom, which translates into progressively healthy encounters, healthy responses & balanced living. It keeps our feet on the ground when reason is called for. It requires spontaneity & whimsical abandon when nothing else will rightly reflect the joy of the moment.

Let every man be
quick to hear,
slow to speak,
slow to wrath.
~ James 1:19 ~

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