The Response

While I’m out this week, I’ve lined up some serious ‘guest posters’ this week. I’ve gotten to know Justin Falls over the last year via blogging, HeyTell messages, and even over Skype one time. He is a listener, writer, photographer, and advocate for the abused and neglected. He writes from the perspective of the brokenhearted, and communicates hope through still images. Justin, his wife, Lynnette, and their two sons live in beautiful Northern California. Connect with him on Twitter and his blog.

When someone is angry, do you respond….

 with anger?

with hate?

with judgment?

with criticism?

with malice?

with sarcasm?

with evil?

with spite?

In my life, I have responded to anger – with all of the above.

….but those reactions drive a wedge.

In my life, I will respond with love. Not because I should or because I’m prompted to by a good friend.

I will respond with love only because…I have been responded to – with love.

For there are no other reasons why I should.

Why is it important – or not important to respond with love?

30 Comments

  • Jason Vana

    September 6, 2011

    Beautiful post Justin!

    I try to remember that everyone has a story and everyone is dealing with circumstances that they might not be able to handle. They might have acted out of that pain or frustration and that’s what caused me to be angry. That’s why I try to respond out of love.

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      thanks jason….great point. Everyone is dealing with circumstances, of one kind or another.

      Reply
    • Dustin

      September 13, 2011

      …everyone has a story! Absolutely.

      Reply
  • Ryan

    September 6, 2011

    Love is hard to do when I’m self absorbed but it’s always the best approach and creates the best relationships.

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      you’re right, ryan – we need to remove ourselves from the equation in order to respond with love.

      Reply
  • Michael

    September 6, 2011

    As I read this I couldn’t help but think of the verse…

    We love because He first loves us…

    Love is a response.

    Reply
    • arny

      September 6, 2011

      Dido…

      Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      excellent point…one that is easier to comprehend, than to act out.

      Reply
  • Tony J. Alicea

    September 6, 2011

    I love your creativity bro. I respond with love because I am loved. I wasn’t able to respond with love until I realized that I had been loved all along.

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      thanks Tone…you got it man. When we realize that we’ve been loved all along – there’s only one proper response to that: Love others.

      Reply
  • Pingback: The Response – JustinFalls.com

  • Jon

    September 6, 2011

    It’s important to respond with love because at the end of the day only Love can break down walls and actually get things done. I’ve responded in many of the other ways, and the outcome was less desired.

    Dude haven’t seen you in a while!

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      “only love can break down walls” – love that Jon! I’ve been lurking…:)

      Reply
    • Dustin

      September 13, 2011

      great comment, jon. well said.

      Reply
  • Joseph

    September 6, 2011

    When we are connected to the vine Jesus’s love dwells in us. It is in our hearts. If His love is in our hearts then it will overflow in to our lives. Without God’s love in our heart we cannot show love in times when love is needed. Great stuff Justin.

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      love the connected to the vine analogy, joseph. It’s difficult to respond with love when we’re disconnected.

      Reply
  • Moe

    September 6, 2011

    Not to take away from the beauty that is this post (and the photo) but when you wrote “but those reactions drive a wedge” I read wedgie and started chuckling. Yes, I’m 12. #sorry.

    As far as anger. Yeah, I’ve done so much in the name of anger. I really have to learn to respond in love. Love is like a q-tip that goes in your ear when it itches. It feels so good, and it even comes out with a little wax. (think wax = sin).

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      i should have known you would find the comedy in this my friend! dude…the q-tip analogy is so good!

      Reply
    • Dustin

      September 13, 2011

      atomic?

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    September 6, 2011

    This is very thought provoking Justin – I know I’ve reacted to all of these emotional responses and had others respond in a similar way to me when I’ve hurt them. Ouch. I wish I could always say my first thought is “love” – but sadly it is not. I’m getting better, though. Hurt and pain make me more tolerant to others – and I’m not so quick to lash out.

    Reply
  • Justin

    September 6, 2011

    that’s an interesting point, Cindy – about hurt and pain. Wounds would typically be the perfect opportunity to run and be even more intolerant. The love of Christ breaks all that down.

    Reply
  • Keri

    September 6, 2011

    What’s difficult is separating your feelings/emotions from your response. It’s okay to feel angry when someone is angry with me or acts out of anger toward me. What’s not okay is to respond to that person out of anger. Feelings and emotions can be great indicators that things must change or that things aren’t right. But, that doesn’t mean that they should dictate how I respond. I must always seek to respond out of the love that He offers me, even when it seems impossible-especially when it seems impossible, because that is an opportunity for Him to work in my heart and mold me to be more like Him.

    Miss your posts, Justin! So cool to see you here. I’m hoping to get back into blogging much more once the boys start school this week, so hopefully that means I can read your blog {and many others} much more. :)

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 6, 2011

      that is so difficult, keri – to separate feelings from the response. But, it probably moves us closer to who we’re called to be.

      thank you! I’ve taking some needed time off this summer from posting – still writing tho! Looking forward to you getting back in the saddle too. :)

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    September 6, 2011

    Mostly because of the love, mercy, and grace that we have been shown. Good words, man.

    Reply
  • Loren Pinilis

    September 7, 2011

    Let’s face it, anger – like all sin – feels good when we’re doing it. It’s just afterwards that we reap the consequences. I’ve been thankful that God is continually convicting me of this and helping me to realize my anger in the situation. And he’s been giving me the strength to change!

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 7, 2011

      so true, Loren. Anger feels good – it’s a release. But, as you said, it always leaves us with regret.

      Reply
    • Dustin

      September 13, 2011

      well said, Loren.

      Reply
  • Phil

    September 7, 2011

    I think its important to respond with love no matter how bad we may be treated. Even though it may be hard sometimes, especially when we are caught in the moment, the mouth tends to work faster than the brain, then we regret it later.

    Respond with love and you could be within a high chance of receiving love back at some point… Maybe not right away.

    If we are to be a good witness its important to show love, just like Christ would. :)

    Reply
    • Justin

      September 8, 2011

      excellent thoughts Phil….important point about giving love, and not getting it back right away – or ever for that matter.

      Reply

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