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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Daily Dignity: Reactions

The this day's post is about dignified reactions. To negative things that come our way.

 It's a fact: sometimes, life gives us lemons. And it's how we respond to those lemons that counts. (Well, and what we do with the lemons. Hint: take them to Jesus... he can make really good lemonade!) OK, seriously, how can we react in a dignified manner when bad things come our way?

 First of all, I want to establish a few things:

  1. IT'S OK TO CRY!!!!!!!! Crying is not against dignity. It's scientifically established that the chemicals in the tears you cry in response to strong emotion literally make you feel better! God made tears to help us. So if you need to, you can let them out. 
  2. The 'bad things' I'm talking about are, on the scale of things, little. Things like being told you can't go to a party you really, really wanted to go to. Or (as bad as it may seem) having to endure another dance class where the teacher is not all that sweet. The kind of stuff we can respond badly to without even thinking 'what am I doing this for?' For worse stuff (like moving city or losing a loved one), I think you know how to respond anyway. Those kinds of 'bad' aren't stuff you chuck a mindless fit about.
  3. It's the 'good, better, best' thing again. Our reactions to these bad things are pretty low on the scale of 'problems we need to work on.' (It may be higher for some, I don't know. If you're one of those, that's no reason to feel guilty or 'less good' than the rest.) I'm just picking things where sometimes (or often) we do not display dignity.

 Now I'm going to list some bad reactions - things we should NOT do in response to bad things: (Some of these I put in just for fun. :P Some you may do.)
  • Chuck a fit. Scream, fling yourself on the floor and kick your legs.
  • Give the 'silent treatment.' 
  • Glare hard for the rest of the day.
  • Roll your eyes often.
  • Sulk in your room and refuse to come out.
  • Generally sulk.
  • Let everyone know how disappointed, frustrated, or {inset emotion} you are by sighing every other minute.
  • Let everyone know how disappointed, frustrated or {inset emotion} you are by complaining almost non-stop.
  • Gossip about your/the 'stupid {insert item or person}' to everyone you meet. 
  • Dwell on (think about) your/the 'stupid {insert item or person}' for hours.
  • Be obstinate and grouchy all day.
  • Get angry and yell at siblings etc.
  • Plead and whine.
  • {Insert your own}.
 Getting the picture? Do you think these display dignity? The *very* obvious answer is NO! So what do you think does? Here's some ideas on how to display dignity when disappointed, angry, frustrated, or simply sad:

  • Take a deep breath. Not to scream, to calm down. It helps.
  • Pray. Take it to Jesus. He cares about how you're feeling.
  • Bite your tongue. It's tempting to yell, or gossip, or whine. But that won't help. And it's not dignified. I'm sure you know that already. 
  • Take a break. That is, if you need to and if you can. Chill for a bit.
  • Clear your head. Don't dwell on the matter. Do the necessary thinking, but don't go over and over it. It'll make it worse, and make you more likely to let your built-up feelings out in a not-so-dignified manner. (Philippians 4:8: "whatever is true, whatever is noble.... think about such things." )
  • Talk to someone. Often, it's enough to leave it with God. But sometimes we need to talk to a person your feelings may be directed at. That's a dignified response. DON'T gossip to others who are not involved, just talk to the person who was involved. Make sure you have calmed down a bit, though, and are out of the heat of the moment.
  • Let Jesus make lemonade! God can bring about good from bad situations. You can be blessed even if you are feeling not-so-good. Look for ways to be a blessing to others, too. Maybe since you can't go to that party you can read to your little brother? Remember, "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him." (Romans 8:28.)
 A good rule of thumb is just to ask yourself, "is this a dignified, Godly response to what is happening?" Let's make sure we're displaying dignity in our reactions to bad things that happen.

Cassie xoxoxo

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