Respond, Don't React!

React= to act in response to or under the influence of a stimulus or prompting.
Respond=to act in return or answer.
Have you ever been to the Dr. and have him take the little rubber hammer and tap on your knee?  Do you remember the involuntary "jump" of your leg.  That was a "knee-jerk" reaction.  In most interactions, be they conversation, debate, negotiations, or confrontations, the one who can cause the other to react has taken control of the moment.  On the other hand, if someone is attempting to get a reaction from you, but instead you respond with a reasoned, well-thought-out response, you can at the very least remain on an even field and probably will even take the advantage.
The "world system" around us has decided that Christianity is fair game for any and all attacks.  They are delighted when they are able to elicit a reaction from Christian people that is heated or defensive or harsh.  It merely proves their point that Christians are stupid, unreasonable, unloving and intolerant.
What we as Christians must learn is to respond with a level head, even temper and even with love to those who would bait us into an argument.  (BTW no one was ever argued into heaven)  In Romans 12:9-21 Paul lays out a beautiful scenario for the Christ follower.  Basically he gives us ideas for a reasonable response in almost all circumstances.
It is high time that we learn what Jesus demonstrated so well in His interactions with the Jewish religious leaders of His day.  He was never on the defensive.  He always maintained His "cool" and thus stymied His detractors. 

When you see the hammer coming toward you, learn to respond, not react.

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