What is Your ‘Response Ability’?

Nathan Smith Bible, Faith, Family, Life Skills

How well do you respond to situations in life?  Many of us have a strong sense of responsibility depending on our upbringing and life circumstances.  Even for those that may be a little more ‘loosy-goosey’ there is an understanding that certain situations demand action more than others, even if simply out of a sense of duty.  However, beyond our sense of responsibility is what I call our ‘Response Ability’.  How well do you respond to situations in life and why?   Are you defensive and reactionary or are you able to respond with a clear heart and mind?  As we close another year this is a question I’m asking myself and want to pose to you as well.  What is your ‘response ability’ and how can you improve it in the coming year? (Click Here To Watch My Message On This Topic)

This has been one of the most challenging years of my life.  Tamsey and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in May and, as grateful as we are for God’s faithfulness thus far, we have struggled this year with this changing season of life.  We no longer will ‘start a family’; we started one, have three children, and everyone is growing like a weed!  What our children need from us and what my wife and I need from each other is very different now than it was even just 5 years ago.  We’ve been learning how to navigate that.  Beyond that, this summer my wife’s father and grandfather passed away and my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  2015 was a gut-punch in many ways.  How did I respond?  Ok.  How will I continue to respond?  That’s yet to be seen.  Does it even matter how I respond?  Absolutely.  How would the Lord have you and I respond to the challenges of life?  This is the most important question of them all. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Same Storm Different View’)

Thankfully, we do not have a Savior that is unsympathetic to our plight.  The Bible reminds us that Jesus was tempted in every way, wept at the loss of a dear friend, and faced ridicule and accusation from the very ones that claimed to know God best.  In Scripture we see Jesus expressing anger, concern, patience, wisdom and love in many different situations.  He did all of these things without sinning and without losing the fruit of the Spirit, most notably, self-control.  Of course, Jesus was/is the Son of God and lived a perfect life.  However, He did live as a man and there are tangible things we can take from His example.

Jesus had, from a young age, a real sense of His Father’s love and approval and it continued throughout His life and ministry from knowing His calling at age 12 in the synagogue to His baptism at age 30 where His Father publicly announced His approval.  This assurance, love and approval from The Father gave Jesus that assurance that whatever He faced, He did not face it alone and He had everything He needed, fully equipped to respond well to the challenges life would bring.  Not all of us have had an earthly father that would wash us with His love and approval. Some of us have had that privilege, but even then our earthly fathers are only imperfect, human examples.  That same assurance, love and approval that Jesus receives from The Father is available to all of us who would call on the Name of the Lord and surrender to His gift of grace. (Click Here to Read My Post ‘Men Can’t Birth Babies, Women Can’t Birth Adults’)

Fear produces defensiveness, insecurity fuels vain imaginations and pride causes us to try and cover our weaknesses so we won’t be wounded. When we receive God’s love and approval on a daily basis we realize that we really have nothing to prove and nothing to lose.  God is for us and not against us therefore, whom shall we fear?  Operating from that place of grace gives us an amazing ‘response ability’.  How can you increase your ‘response ability’ in 2016? Take a few minutes and pray each day for a revelation of God’s love for you and His approval of you.  Watch how this secures your heart and empowers you to face challenges without feeling like you are in the fight of your life because that fight has already been won on the cross.  Let there be joy in the journey in 2016!  I’m praying that for you and am believing it for myself as well!

The Lord is my light, and he saves me. Why should I fear anyone? The Lord is my place of safety. Why should I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1

There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives away fear. That’s because fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love. – I John 4:18

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