To Act or React?
To Act or React?
We seem to be living in a time when others around us are going crazy. I’m not talking about a mental illness that is certifiable, but rather it “seems” like a fair number of people in our society are acting outside the norm or what we would consider the norm.
Do you, on almost a daily basis, observe other drivers on the road you travel taking unnecessary risks? Is it a discouraging activity to read the daily newspaper, with all of its reporting of illegal behavior on the part of some of the people who live around us realizing that we can do little to prevent it from happening? Do you feel like you are just a victim of our present society being swept along with a “me too” philosophy of life?
How we act or react to events of our time is important not only to our health but also to the health of others. An article that appeared in a 1960 article of Readers Digest, entitled “Do You Act or React?” really highlights the importance of the question.
“I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn’t even acknowledge it. ‘A sullen fellow isn’t he?’, I commented. ‘Oh, he’s that way every night’, shrugged my friend. ‘Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?’, I asked. ‘Why not’, said my friend, ‘Why should I let him decide how I am going to act?’”
To act or react is the question. What does God think of our behavior in a world that has such an attraction for “being one of the crowd?” Peter gives us the proper response in 1 Peter 3:8, 9.
“To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”
The context, of these two verses, belongs to the subject of Christian husbands and wives in their treatment of each other as indicated in 1 Peter 3: 1- 7. However, Peter, as an inspired writer, includes within the overall context verses 10- 12 which are direct quotes from Psalm 34: 12- 16 thus providing an imperative as to how to act rather than react. The question to consider is, are we going to act or react to conditions around us?