Our first response is our most important one. The hard thing about our responses is that they happen in the moment. Our worst responses are made because we are caught off guard. Preparing for every action and reaction is a great tool to help us manage our responses when life comes at us so fast. Our facial reactions, our tongues, our tempers even the way we show love must be communicated correctly so that we don’t offend or are being misunderstood. Intention and interpretation don't always line up. We can have the best intention, but if we don't communicate it correctly, then really it doesn't matter what our intentions were.
I often practice how I want to respond to every situation. The driver that just cut me off, am I ready to respond to them in a way that glorifies the Lord? I work my hardest at responding to our foster daughter. She has come from a difficult background, so her responses are not always on point. I hope that my responses will become her responses. I must hold at all times the example I want to personify, even if I’m acting. Giving grace is the only way to teach grace, as with many of God’s attributes, it is better to teach by example.
Let’s practice right now, with the very next person we interact with. The one thing we know for sure is that we can't possibly know what the person beside us is going through. So be kind, be ready with a smile and nod. Be intentional, and I believe we will see that we can plant seeds of hope, love, joy and peace to every person we interact with. A simple smile goes a long way.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. - James 1:22
Father in heaven, Guide us today to make sure that our responses are as they should be. Help us to feel your spirit as we interact with others so that we can be your hands and feet. We know that we need your grace to interact with others successfully.