Don’t Overreact, Underreact, or react Prematurely

So let’s say you suddenly have a problem on your hands, something like, a small group leader in your church is teaching some strange doctrine, or you discover that the “ex-pastor” that’s been attending your church has been talking to other members about coming to a special meeting next Saturday at his house.  Or maybe Harriett comes up to you after the service and tells you she can’t stand the music. It’s too loud, too contemporary, too traditional, too long, not long enough…you get the picture. And then she drops the “And I’m not the only one who feels this way” bomb. How will you react? Great pastors don’t overreact, under react, or react prematurely.

Ask yourself, “Am I overreacting?” Maybe you think you’ve got a problem but you don’t. Maybe you think you’ve got a problem but the real problem is smaller than you imagine it to be. Who do you know and trust that can help you determine if you are overreacting?

Ask yourself, “Am I under-reacting?” Just because you don’t think you have a problem on your hands doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem on your hands. It’s easier to look the other way, hope that the problem solves itself. Are you minimizing? Who do you know and trust that can help you determine if you are under-reacting.

Ask yourself, “Am I reacting prematurely?” Maybe the situation calls for action, but when, how, by whom? If we jump into it prematurely maybe we will miss seeing the hand of God take care of things independent of us? Who do you know and trust that can help you determine if you are reacting prematurely?

Here’s a great rule to live by: Always reflect before you react. Very few situations demand immediate response. Take advantage of that. Give it a day or two. Spend some time in prayer and seeking wise, objective counsel. You probably don’t have to respond to that mean email within the hour after you receive it. Always reflect before you respond. You don’t want to complicate things by overreacting, under-reacting, or reacting prematurely.

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