“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” ~ Epictetus
This is probably not fair, ah, heck, I know it’s not fair, however, I have some people in my life that I like to poke fun at every so often because they are the perfect over-reactors. If a called for reaction might be a five on a scale of one to ten, they somehow come up with a twenty-three. They are the “sky is falling” type of people. I know that I should not agitate them; but, sometimes, it is just too hard to resist.
I am sure you all know the type of people and probably have a few among your own friends as well. The lives of over-reactors are filled with fraught, nervousness, tension, ulcers, and a whole host of other ills. People who overreact are often quite uncomfortable because they never know what the next thing is that will set them off nor do they know when that might happen. They live in a chronic state of anxiety.
Epicetus reminded us that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” People spend a considerable amount of time watching us. They do so because they want to see how we react to situations. They want to see how we react to speech. They want to see how we react to everything that happens to us. Why? Our reaction is a window into our very person.
If we react aggressively, they will shy away from us. If we react suspiciously, they will not want to deal with us. If we react selfishly, they will not trust us to further their causes. Our reactions give people clues into not only how we think and feel but also into how we will act in given situations.
I would hope that we have all met at least one committed Christian who always acts and reacts out of compassion and love. We know that, no matter what we bring to those people, we will be met with love, mercy, forgiveness, and understanding. Because of that, we go to those people over and over again. We count on those people. We invite those people to be a part of our lives because we so desire to be like them.
What’s stopping you? Be one of those kinds of people today.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace not to overreact to anything negative that comes your way today.