Are You An Actor, Or A Reactor?

Some folks tend to react to things in life. You know, they live in a closed world, and things go well until someone or something invades their realm just a bit. This provokes a reaction to the situation. And then others tend to "act" on principles that remove the impulse to "react" to people and things.
Let me ask you something. When you meet a stranger on the side-walk, or walking through the mall (or anywhere), do you wait on them to smile and greet you? If you're a waiter, you probably never give strangers a greeting, or a smile; unless they greet you first. Then you react to their greeting. I decided years ago, I was going to speak first. Not only to strangers, but to church members and co-workers as well. 99.99999% of the time I get a reaction. And of that percentage, 99.99999% is positive! I simply love that.
I know from working with people that most folks just don't love their jobs. So, especially early on in the day, most people are not in the best of moods. Knowing this, I make it a point to offer smiles and greetings, especially to those folks who seem to need them. I never get negative reactions. Sometimes they are less than energetic, but that's Ok because I accomplish my part to act, not always react.
I've had several opportunities to react to irate customers over the years. But listen to this. I have already decided what my response will be. Did you catch that? It's not a reaction, it is a response. I have determined that since I have to respond to an unhappy customer, I will respond in a predetermined, positive manner. Not because I always feel so positive, but because I know what a calm, positive response will do. This is what the Book says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh answer stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) I have seen this truth displayed among we humans over and over through the years. A harsh word, provokes a harsh reaction. But after receiving a harsh, critical word from someone, what if we are prepared to "respond" with a gentle answer? I've seen many volatile situations diffused by a soft, gentle answer. Again, it's not always easy, but it works. And, in order to respond gently, you must determine beforehand that you will do so!
Truthfully, it is more difficult to be an actor, instead of a reactor. With our human nature comes the desire to defend ourselves when harsh words are launched our way. But those who live by God's Spirit, and His Word, are learning what the Golden Rule really means; and how incredibly powerful it is when applied in our lives. "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you..." (Matthew 7:12) Think about it. How do you want people to treat you? Well, treat them the same way! Jesus makes it possible as He lives in us and we allow Him to work in us.
Please remember this very simple statement. An actor is one who acts first, or has predetermined how they will respond to any harsh words. He or she acts or responds with principles from God's Word that remove the impulse to react. When we act, there is no need to react. And when we are prepared to respond positively, our response replace any negative reaction. Blessings!

Because I Can, I Will

You know, before I sat down good to type this post the enemy (the devil) was already telling me not to write, because it won't change anything. But let me tell you why I continued. Because I still can! Yep, I can still do it. And as long as I can, I will!
Lot's of good, Christian Americans have accepted the fact that things have changed so drastically (for the absolute, unadulterated worse) that why try to stand up or speak out? Here's why you should. Because you can! As long as you have a voice, things can change! They might not go back to the way things were, but they can change for the better. And never forget, the way things were can motivate us to change the way things are.
It's hard not to sound negative when you're speaking of negative things. But listen. America's deepest, most serious problem is not that our nation's leaders have gone from being incredibly corrupt incognito, to blatantly overt in it's corruption. I mean, things used to be swept under the proverbial rug in Washington in order that we the people would not find out about it. And when we did, some sort of justice was administered. But now, who cares! So then, the most serious, and the most dangerous problem is that we the people see it, know it, and tolerate it. It's time for the good ole average American person to simply stand up and say "enough!" Are you one of those?
For almost 8 years I have wondered how good Americans (especially Bible believing Christians) could support leadership that for all practical purposes, opposes everything good, just, and righteous. That's why I speak up, and speak out. I can! It's not so bad (yet) that you and I cannot stand up and speak up. I'm not saying to riot. Just stand up! Just speak out, when it is necessary! You will draw more criticism now than ever before. And the spirit of "political correctness" (a hideous demonic spirit), will screech out "You might offend somebody!" This is where I interject my own version of "Who cares!" I would rather NOT offend Jesus! If you and I stick to God's Word, we WILL offend someone, but we WILL NOT offend Jesus! That's all that matters to me. "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)
The absolute worse words anyone could ever hear are the words "Depart from Me, for I never knew you." Wow! I live my entire life, with the power of His Spirit, making sure I will never hear those words. And right now, in the land of America, we still have the privilege of speaking out for what is right. Yes, we must do it in love, just as Jesus did, but He never minced words. He always spoke the truth, and spoke it directly. And He always looked for the most opportune times to stand up and speak out! I will do that too. And since I can, I will! What about you friend?