How to Avoid Knee-jerk Reactions

Each year before school begins my daughter has a sports physical. It's a requirement to play on the school team. There are many things the doctor checks to ensure she is healthy, but the one that nearly cost him his head was her reflexes. We were in for a surprise during her first physical. When he leaned over to tap his rubber hammer against her knee he jumped back at the strength of her response. Her foot would have kicked him right in the face had he not been so quick to move.
Despite her knee's sensitive reflexes, no reaction occurs when her knees impact the hard floor as she dives to dig a ball in a volleyball game. With protection from knee pads, her body's natural response is restrained. 

How much could we temper our own natural reactions to people and situations that would normally elicit a knee jerk reaction if we, too, wore pads? 

P ~       Prayer sets our focus outside of ourselves when we begin the day in active relationship with God and provides a cushion of peace when we use it throughout the day. It's especially important to apply before situations or interactions that we know are likely to trigger a knee-jerk response in our spirit. 

A ~      Accept that life, like volleyball, will be filled with bumps and falls. It can be a rough game even amongst fellow believers. Opponents will spike a ball at us. We may need to dive to keep the game in play. The more prepared we are to receive them, the more likely we can react in a healthy manner when they arise.

D ~      Deny the flesh's natural desire to respond in kind. When someone hurts me, or especially those I love, it is very hard by my own strength to not lash back. But it is possible when I call on God. Through Him we can step back and see that it is not all about us. Most people hurt others because inside they are hurting. Their behavior isn't about us, it's about them.

S ~      Smiles go a long way in helping maintain internal and external peace. Our mental attitude quickly goes in the direction we hold our mouth. The more readily we smile, the more ready we are to face whatever life may bring.

Message for the Journey:

Without pads, a volleyball player's knees experience a lot of unnecessary pain. So it is with us. We will be faced with situations that, if we allow our natural knee-jerk reactions to occur, will cause wounds. So before going out into the world - or even out the bedroom door- remember to wear pads.

©Ann Wilds

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 
Romans 12:18

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