Speaking the Truth in Love

Do You Act …. Or React?

I walked with my friend, to the news-stand th h . e ot er night and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie i·t 1 ‘ . . , po I e y. The news,e d1dn t even acknowledge it. “A sullen fellow, isn’t it?” I commented “Oh h , th . ,, . , e s at way every night, shrugged my friend. “Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?” 1 asked. “Why not?” inquired my friend. “Why should I let him decide how I’m going to act?” As I thought about this incident later, it occurred to me that the important word was “act.” My friend acts toward people, most of us react toward them. He has a sense of inner balance which is lacking in most of us, he knows who he is, what he stands for, how he should behave. He refuses to return incivility for incivility, because then he would no longer be in command of his own conduct. When we are enjoined in the Bible to return good for evil, we look upon this as a moral injunction, which it is. But it is also a psychological prescription for our emotional health. Nobody is unhappier that the perpetual reactor. His cent~r of emotional gravity is not rooted within himself, where ,t ‘d h’ His spiritual belongs but in the world outs1 e 1m. . ‘ • 1 d by the social temperature is always being raised or owere f climate around him, and he is a mere creature at the mercy 0 these elements. ·t . h . false because I Praise give him a feeling of euphoria, wh1c is ‘ 1 f self -approva · does not last and it does not come rom ·t . hould because i Criticism depresses him more than its ‘ 5 bs hurt . . f h’mself. nu confirms his own secret shaky opinion ° 1 . y quarter f ularity in an him., and the merest suspicion o unpop rouses him to bitterness. e the . d until we becom A serenity of spirit cannot be achieve . d s To let . and att1tu e · masters of our own actions h II be rude or another determine whether we s a_ •sh control d is to rellnqUI gracious, elated or depresse ‘ . . lt·mately all we r . which IS u I over our own persona 1t1es, . . If-possession. session 1s se possess. The only true pos

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