Yeah, that’s the question. Are you responding too much? It seems as though many people spend a good portion of their day responding to someone else – all day long.
If you have kids, you are always responding to them.
If you are pastor, you often spend days responding to situations and people in your care.
At work, we respond to our bosses, our coworkers, our clients and customers.
If you look on social media for about five seconds I’m sure you’ll find people responding to something the President or President-elect has said or tweeted.
There’s responses to other politicians too.
And to terror attacks and other acts of violence like shootings.
We respond to celebrities and their lives.
We respond to natural disasters.
We respond to e-mail, text, and messaging. And God forbid you don’t immediately!
We respond to the guy or gal who cut us off in traffic.
We respond to some social media post on politics, or religion, or something else that we disagree with.
Responding is not the same as leading. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it is appropriate to respond to things. Like most things in life, this isn’t an all or nothing type of thing.
But, don’t you think we respond to too many things? Why? Is there an expectation that we should respond to every little thing? Do we think that highly of ourselves that we think that anyone else cares what we think about a given situation or person? Do we think we have to play the role of Savior and correct people?
I don’t have an answer. I just know that most people waste their time responding. I think we respond so much because responding is so much easier than leading. It’s easier to offer criticism of an idea or person, than it is to take a chance in leading into the unknown. Leading is a risk taking activity – and if you are doing it right, you’ll receive criticism. That’s because you are upsetting the status quo.
If you are responding all the time, or even just a majority of the time, how are you supposed to have any time to do anything productive or anything that advances you towards the completion of your goals?
Churches spend a great deal of time responding. And again, that’s not always a bad thing. Often churches are the key players in a response to a situation.
Yet I wonder, are we, dear church, so busy responding that we aren’t taking risks any more? Are churches leading? I wonder if this is part of the reason for decline in church membership. Responding can be tiring. Leading gives life and direction.
We should respond when we are called to respond. But let’s also take some steps forward. It’s also a part of our calling too – an important part. Jesus didn’t just respond to everything around him. He lead. We should too.