React or Respond

In 2 Kings 19, the enemy sent a threatening letter to the king, mocking his faith, declaring themselves superior in every way, and vowing to destroy him. Though he had authority and power, the king became overwhelmed with fear and frustration.

I suppose he could have reacted in the same spirit, and either escalated the intimidating rhetoric, or outright declared war on his accusers. Instead, “After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went to the temple, spread it out before the Lord, and prayed” (2 Kings 19:14, 15a).

There before God, instead of justifying his decisions, complaining about the circumstances, and demanding vengeance, he took responsibility for his own fears and failures. Rather than trying to make the enemy submit to his earthly authority and power, Hezekiah submitted himself to God’s mercy and grace.

Every day you have opportunities to respond from who you are in God’s Spirit, instead of reacting in the spirit of something else. Lay out your wounds, fears, judgments, and any un–renewed thoughts before Him, and ask Him for a fresh encounter with His grace.

Refuse to fight on the enemy’s terms. Don’t give in to seeing circumstances through his bitterness, hate, lies, and threats. You are a representative of God’s faith, hope, and love, not a victim of the enemy’s propaganda, despair, and condemnation. Feed yourself on God’s goodness before saying or doing anything, especially on social media.

Let your capacity to receive God’s love grow until you have no capacity to be offended (still working on that myself). It’s possible to have some control over those you hate, but you only have true influence with those you love.

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