Pause before you react: It can help | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | February 18, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: February 14, 2018 at 2:26 pm

“There is a difference between speaking the truth in love and judging someone hypocritically … make sure you know the difference before you speak,” according to Pauline Seaport, a consultant and analyst.
Our world has become such a fast-paced place until many of us don’t stop and take the time to thoroughly think about our words and actions. Many of us are guilty of speaking, acting, and reacting and then thinking … in the wrong order.
Most of the time, it will be too late to do your thinking after the fact. According to an anonymous quote, “There are five things that you cannot take back: a stone after it is thrown, a word once it is spoken, an occasion once it is missed, an action when it [has been] done, and time once it has passed.” Therefore, before putting your mouth in action, always put your brain in motion first so that you won’t have to live with regret. James 1: 19-20 speaks to this concept: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
We have to remember that we were blessed with two ears and one mouth. So that is a testament to the fact that we are supposed to do more listening that talking. Some of us need to realize that we don’t always need to have the last word because as it turns out more often than not, some things are better unsaid anyway. “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him,” according to Proverbs 29:20 (ESV).
When we have said or done the wrong thing, and we come to a realization that we have, the only thing that we can do is repent. However, don’t repent for such behavior, and then turn around and do the same thing. If that is what you are going to do, then your sin is willful, and you are not sorry for your words and actions. When you repent and ask for forgiveness, be real about it, and learn from your mistakes. Speak and act kindly toward others because it will go a long way and will cause fewer problems in the long run. Proverbs 15:1 affirms, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Some advice to consider about caution when speaking, acting, and reacting is known as “Practice the Pause,” (Daily Vibes) short and sweet, but powerful and true! Please share this with others, especially those you know who have a short fuse and need to focus on what’s appropriate and inappropriate.
“Pause before judging. Pause before answering. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly, and you will avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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