2 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Reacting to Adversity

Self-assessment is the beginning of wise choices.

Before regrettably responding in anger, try this method I taught my daughter. May her lesson be ours.

When she was 11, I found her vehemently flipping through her Bible to find verses to “aim & fire” at a bus seatmate who had been quite nasty to her. I’d never seen her burn with such vengeful anger before. Normally she is very patient, gentle, easy-going, and sweet.

Personally, I’ve been through hell and back with school bullying, even had death threats in my locker from a drug dealer…

It wasn’t until this teaching moment that I realized how I turned life’s lemons into my own sweet lemonade. I looked her gently in the eyes and asked what I ask myself:

1. Who do you want to be?
2. Are your intended actions true to yourself as that person?

1. Who do you want to be? 2. Are your intended actions true to yourself as that person? Click To Tweet

We talked about her values and qualities up to this point. That she couldn’t control the other girls’ ugliness which was likely an overflow of her troubled home life. That she could only control how she responded and how her response has the power to change her.

We talked about what being true to yourself means now and in the future.

The desire for revenge had taken a foothold. So I asked her to sleep on it before she acted on her feelings.

Very late that night, she came to me in her normal soft disposition and humbly said,

“Mom, I don’t want to be that person I was today. I feel that if I do it this time, then it will be easier to do it again. It’s not who I am or who I want to be. I’ve prayed for her instead and let it go.” (bestow my mama heart)

Her actions reminded me of the Bible’s examples of how Jesus often prayed for his enemies and wished them well in spite of their ill actions towards him. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing…” Luke 23:34. He also said, “turn the other cheek.”

It’s difficult to forgive when we have been wronged.

Two wrongs do not make a right, like they do in math where a double negative makes a positive.

Two wrongs do not make a right, like they do in math where a double negative makes a positive. Click To Tweet

My daughter must have really taken this lesson to heart. Because many years later, when I was plotting a counter-attack on someone that severely wronged our family, she gently looked me in the eyes and said,

Mom, who do you want to be and are your intended actions true to yourself as that person?”


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Samantha Postman

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