Are You Ready to Respond Responsibly?

“A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them.”

Proverbs 29:11 (GW)

Some of the clearest evidence of maturity and responsibility in your life is when you can handle the pressures, problems, and pains of life without becoming angry. The key to responsibility is learning to control your emotional reactions. Instead of exploding with anger when people hurt you, God wants you to turn around and do good to them.

The way we usually express our emotions is through our words. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them” (GW).

If you want to be responsible, God says you have to put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion. You can’t just say anything that floats through your mind. You need to think before you speak! That’s being responsible.

The Bible says, “People will be responsible for every careless thing they have said” (Matthew 12:36 NCV). One day when we get to heaven, we are going to be held responsible for every thoughtless word we’ve said. We can’t always control our emotions. But God will judge how responsible we were with expressing them.

One of the ways you show responsibility is by not trying to get even with people who hurt you. When somebody slanders you, steals from you, or mistreats you, don’t lower yourself to their standard by trying to get even. Instead, choose the higher way—God’s way—and forgive that person. Trust God to handle it and serve justice. Then you can move on with your life.  

“Don’t let evil get the upper hand, but conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:21 TLB).

When someone cuts you off in traffic, what is your first reaction? When you find out someone is gossiping about you, how do you respond? When someone hurts you with their words, actions, or lack of care, do you treat them the same way so they know how you feel?

Choosing to follow Jesus means making the choices that honor him and show responsibility. When you have a choice, choose to think before you speak. Then, choose grace and forgiveness.

Talk It Over

  • What strategies can you use when you’re hurt so you don’t react without thinking?
  • Why is learning to control your reactions an issue of faith?
  • How can other people in your life hold you accountable as you learn to control your reactions?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.