Recently, during our mid week service in church, I taught on the need to stop reacting and start responding to life. I noticed that my daughters started using that message to relate with each other. You would hear the younger tell the older; “Grace, you are reacting. Stop reacting. Start responding.” Their conversations often inspire me.

Friend, are you reacting or responding to life? Living life as a reaction only shows that you have allowed life to happen to you rather than you happening to life. The truth is, you have got a choice. The power of choice is one of the most powerful gifts that God has given humans. Learn to make use of it (Genesis 6:3, Deuteronomy 30:19).

You are not born a winner or a loser. You are born a chooser. If you fail, it is because you chose to fail. If you succeed, you chose to succeed. If you are rich, you chose to be rich, and if you are poor, it is your choice (Proverbs 22:2, 29:13). It is not what happens to you in life that matters. It is how you respond to it. You can make the best of any circumstance if you learn to respond and not react.

When Jesus told us to offer our other cheek to whoever slaps us, He was not telling us to be a moron. He was teaching us about the power of choice (Luke 6:29). The person who slaps you expects you to return the slap. That would be a reaction. But choosing to respond otherwise simply means that you are in charge of your emotions and not the other person (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Nobody made you do anything. You chose to do it. As a young lady, nobody forced you to have sex. You chose to have it. As a young man, it was not the economy that made you resort to crime. You chose to. If you don’t stop blaming people for your realities in life, you would continue to repeat cycles of failure. The first man (Adam) traded the blame game. It has led humanity to where it is today (Genesis 3:12). What would you do differently?

Be in charge of your own life. Don’t give another person permission to toil with your emotions. Don’t let your spouse, employer, or government determine your joy and productivity (SoS 1:6). Choose to be joyful. Choose to be productive. Choose to enjoy where you are on the road to where you are going (Psalms 118:24). Remember, it is not what happens to you that matters. It is how you respond. Stop reacting and start responding. You will succeed.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria