How you feel is your responsibility – not other peoples’ #horstmas-laws.7

(This is a series of reflections on Horstman’s Laws)

Other people do not control how you feel. Other people do not make you feel angry, or feel mad, or even feel jealous or happy. Your feelings are exactly that… yours. You’ve produced those feelings. They are your responsibility.

Sure, other people might have behaved in certain ways which led to you producing those feelings. But they didn’t make you have those feelings.
This is something that Jesus models for us amazingly. He gets betrayed, abandoned, beaten, whipped, mocked, spat on and crucified. That’s what other people did to him. But Jesus knew he was responsible for his reactions. Jesus prayed for those crucifying him. He loved them.

Or to put it another way… it is possible — isn’t it — that you could respond differently? There’s no “only” response. There’s always a range of responses. Who determines which of those responses you are going to have?

You do.

So, when you’re shunned, ignored, attacked, verbally abused, accused… remember your immediate response is not the only (nor the best) response. There are other ways you can choose to respond.