You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction. God says maturity and responsibility are evident in your life when you can handle the pressures and pains without becoming stressed out or angry and blowing up.
The way we usually express our emotions is through our words. Jesus tells us, “On judgment day, people will have to give an account for every careless word they’ve said.” (Matthew 12:36 GWT)
So if you want to be responsible — God says you need to put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion. You need to think before you speak.
But being responsible in your responses means more than what you say. It’s also in your actions.
“Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:21 LB)
One of the ways you show responsibility is by not trying to get even with people who hurt you. When you try to get even with someone for what they did to you, you’ve just lowered yourself to their standard. And a person who tries to get even is no better than the person who did the wrong.
But when you forgive that person, that’s returning good for evil. You let God settle the score and He has better resources than you do to do it. That’s controlling your reactions.
-from Rick Warren’s daily devotional
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