When All You Can Control Is Your Reaction


How do you react to bad news? Do you flip out?

Accept it immediately?

Deny it’s existence?

Try to fight it?

My preference is to deny it and live in la-la land.

Our reactions are important though because we cannot always control our circumstances and the things that happen to us, but our reactions are always our decision.

When we get the eviction notice, the call into the boss’s office, after the break up, when someone close is taken from you, or when you get a call of your kid’s latest mess up. When any of this happens, how you react reveals who you are…

A few thousand years ago, the world was filled with evil. Humanity was screwing up the planet and were selfish and prideful. The Creator was disturbed when he looked around and saw how wicked His creation had become.

God did have one man named Noah who was not okay with how evil the world had become, and God recognized that and decided that it would be Noah’s responsibility to be the caretaker of life as He purged the world.

It was at this point that God came to Noah and explained that He would be destroying all of creation through a universal flood, and it was Noah’s responsibility to create a massive ship to preserve life.

Noah could not control what was going to happen. He was being informed. But what Noah could control was his reaction, and he did.

The Bible records his reaction, “So Noah listened to God, and he built the ark. He did everything God asked him to do.”[1]

Imagine what must have been going through Noah’s mind. His friends would all be dead, his house, his community, and everything he ever knew besides his family would be forever gone.

Could you blame him if he was upset at God? Felt inconvenienced by the huge task of building and stocking an ark? But he reacted by simply listening, and doing everything that was asked.

When something goes wrong in life, when you receive bad news that does not mean that we don’t have emotions, because they are real. It just means that we aren’t controlled by them.

We decide our reactions.

How will you react next time you receive bad news? Will you punch someone in the face (wrong answer) or will you listen patiently and do what you know you need to do (right answer). It takes practice, but it’s worth it.

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[1] Genesis 6:22 The Voice