Two fathers in the same town with similar families and life circumstances faced a similar trial. Both received word from a mutual friend that their middle school boys were involved in some mild illegal activity. How the two fathers responded made a lasting difference.
The first father saw the crisis as an opportunity to make changes in his own schedule to give his son more time, and to become more involved in his life, talking regularly about his values and the things in life that are important.
The other father blew up, grounded the boy for an indefinite period of time, took away his phone and made sure the kid knew he might never be forgiven.
The first father grew closer to his son, who entered adulthood as a mature young man, eager to contribute to society. The other father became alienated from his son, who grew up struggling with addictions, has moved from job to job, and broken relationship to broken relationship.
These two incidences were not isolated, but illustrated how the fathers regularly responded to challenges, and their reactions had a huge impact on how their boys learned to handle life. Both dads started their families with similar beliefs and values. They faced similar crises, but how they responded to those crises and communicated their values made the difference.
It’s never the situation you are up against that will make or break you. It’s how you respond. Two people can face the exact same situation and have entirely different outcomes, all because of their reaction or response.
Chuck Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.”
So what are you up against? What’s your biggest challenge…right now? How are you responding?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).