In his bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about the space that exists between the stimulus and the response. In that space is the power to choose.
Therefore, next time I get frustrated or angry—I will pause.
I want to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19).
I will pause to cool down. It is amazing how different things look when you create a little distance. Rarely do I need to respond immediately. Things almost always look better after a cup of coffee, a brisk walk or a night’s sleep.
I will not write anything in anger. A former professor of mine would warn us young, would be pastors to always be careful about what we write. It’s still true today. This includes tweets, texts, Facebook messages, emails, and letters. If I am angry with someone, I will pause, pray, and then confront them personally, preferably in person. If that is not possible, I will call them. Launching angry salvos from the safety of my home or office rarely accomplishes anything good.
I need to set a higher standard. I need to pause between the stimulus and the response.
Question: What about you? How do you handle the space between the stimulus and the response?