Respond or Not?

As a Christian, we are reminded that our goal is to become more like Jesus with our words and actions but there are certain things that make it difficult to do that.

I believe that Satan knows our “buttons” so he creates a situation where we are more likely to react “in the flesh.” That situation, though, is also a “test” to see how we will react. I have failed the test many times, and afterwards I ask God to forgive me and to help me in not reacting in a negative way in the future.

I’ve come to realize that there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to react. On one hand, we are told: “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (Proverbs 26:4, NLT); but on the other hand, the advice is: “Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:5, CSB). So how are we supposed to respond?

If we pray to God for guidance, then He will give it to us. If it is to respond, then He will give us the right words to say and we will have peace within. If our desire is to “get back at them,” then don’t respond.

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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The bag without a tag

Temptation can come in many forms. The other night, my son and I went to a local thrift store because we heard they were having a “50% off” sale on fur and leather coats. I found a bag that I really wanted but it had no tag on it. I looked on the floor, hoping I would find the tag but none was found. I thought about taking a tag from one of the other bags—I looked at all the prices and found one that was $1.99. I told myself that any money the store gets would be profit since all of their merchandise was donated.

After seriously contemplating about it, I decided not to take the tag off the other bag, and then I tried to hide the bag I wanted so that no one else could get it. I was thinking that I can come back when they were having a “half-off” sale on bags—of course that didn’t solve the issue of the bag not having a tag. Once I walked away for a little bit, I decided that the best thing to do was to bring the bag to the counter and have them reprocess it so it can have a tag—my thinking was, after it was reprocessed and I see it again, then I was meant to buy it.

I went up to the counter and asked, “How much are your bags?” (I was hoping they had a set price for “ordinary” bags). He said that the price should be on the bag. I then explained that this one had no price tag. He examined it for a few seconds and said, “How about $4?” (I had noticed that most of the bags were $4). I was stunned—the policy of the store had always been that they would not sell merchandise without a tag. I replied, “That’s fine.”

What I learned from that experience is that I just need to do the right thing no matter what the situation. I should never do anything unethical, even for something as small as a used bag. Also, I learned that God will make positive things happen when you resist temptation.

Yes, I wanted the bag and even though I would have technically paid a price for it (by ripping off another bag’s tag), I should never resort to doing any “underhanded” tactics to get something (it’s a bag today but what will it be in the future?).  James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (NLT). Bottom line– “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).

Troubles

My husband and I will be going to Disney World in a few days and we found out that the pool at the hotel is heated and has underwater speakers. Although I am very excited about spending some time in the pool, I am also very anxious because I don’t know how to swim.

My father tried to teach me how to swim when I was about 5 years old, but instead of floating on the surface of the water, I sank to the bottom. I can still remember the inability to breathe and the feeling of panic that I had.

Sometimes when I get overwhelmed I feel like I am drowning.  I know that some people might feel worried, anxious, or nervous when they go through certain situations. The Bible tells us, “…you know that we are destined for such troubles” (1 Thess 3:3), “…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Don’t let the troubles of life drown you! Realize that God is testing you—so do all you can to pass the test!

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti