Act or react

Jesus Christ! the man yelled as the bike suddenly passed him.

No, no, it’s just me, Jenny. I recognized his tone as not one of mutual praise to our heavenly Father. I wasn’t trying to startle the man, but apparently he hadn’t heard my bike tires leaf crunching their way up the sidewalk behind him.

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“Morning,” I had said as I maneuvered parallel to his line of sight. His verbal reaction surely brought out what was deep inside this man. I continued biking along the path and began to consider the reaction from this stranger.


There’s no act when it comes to reactions.

We can put on an act. But what we react may be more telling.

What happens when life reveals what is inside of us through an unexpected wake up call? When we are caught off guard in a moment, taking a pop quiz of sorts, exposing our truest self? When we don’t have time to think ahead, prepare, or produce the dressed up, acceptable version of who we want to be; we are in our purest, raw form.

Who is that person? Is it a person we want to be? Is it the person we think we are? I would argue that the behavioral outcome of these moments should become the standard of character that we battle to improve.

They say, “what comes up in the bucket is already down in the well.” So what has been going into your well? What has been leaking in unnoticed, slowly tainting your water? What toxins and impurities haven’t you filtered out of your life recently? Is the water down in your well acceptable to give others? Is it acceptable to you?

water-well

You are the gatekeeper of your body, soul and mind. You only control what you take in, are exposed to and absorb into the fabric of your being. You control what you dwell on, turn over in your mind and whether it’s positive or negative. You are logging the words, thoughts, feelings, encounters and emotions from which your character will be built.

And that character is exposed in unexpected ways.

You are the sum of your own attitudes, efforts, energy and desires. So stop trying to dress them up, present them well and put on a front to look better. Instead, take an accurate account of what you surround yourself with. Remove what is unpleasing to God. Sit quiet and alone. Allow our Father who knows you best to pick up the scalpel of the Word of God and cut out the impurities of your heart and soul. Let Him cut and shape and create in you a true beauty of character that will reproduce His living water from deep inside your well.

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