Truth Tuesday – How Do You React?

by Kathy

lavish garden partyEsther 1:1-12

Chapter 1 opens like a scene in a movie.  As the chapter begins, King Xerxes, considered to be the most powerful man in the entire world at that time, is hosting a lavish garden party.  Stop for just a moment and try and visualize how beautiful this party must have been.

“The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.” Esther 1:6 NLT

On the seventh day of this extravagant event, King Xerxes requested that Queen Vashti make an appearance before his men guests so that he could show off her beauty.  The queen refused the King’s request.  Scriptures do not tell us for certain why she refused.  Some scholars believe that she may have been pregnant and not comfortable appearing in front of the men.  Others speculate that for her to appear in this manner was against etiquette of the day.

Although we are not told the reason she refused to honor the King’s request, we do know how the King handled it.  “But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.” Esther 1:12 NLT

Certainly, the King’s desire to show his wife off in this manner was not wise.  When he didn’t get his way, he responded poorly by getting angry.  As I read these verses, my first response was to shake my head in disgust, as I thought how terrible the king was to respond in such a manner and disrespect his wife when he didn’t get his way . But then I had to stop and ask myself a necessary heart probing question.  I am going to ask you the same question.  “__________ (insert your name), how do you react when you don’t get your way?”  “How often, when things don’t go as you planned, do you get angry?”

There are days that I get angry and respond to those around me in a manner that shows my disappointment, frustration, and lack of patience.  How about you?   I’m so thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness that allows me to come and confess to Him (and to those my behavior has impacted) these tirades I occasionally go through.

When I step back and look at these moments where I come unglued, my response is coming from something going on in my heart.   In these moments, I am usually focused on the inconvenience of the situation and how it impacts me personally, or the fear about something that happened, didn’t happen or could happen.  Additionally, I notice that these emotional outbursts show that my heart is neglecting to intentionally live out a joyful attitude, and choosing to not stoop in an act of Christ-like service to those around me.

A few weeks ago, I wrote out a prayer of commitment in my journal that I think aptly applies here.  I want this to be what I live out daily.

God, help me to focus on your Truth instead of my circumstances.  Help me to give thanks instead of giving into fear of the moment, or frustration from the inconvenience of the situation.  Help me to choose joy instead of anger.  Help me to trust in your power and ways, instead of my plans.  Help me to elevate your name, instead of my own.  Lord, I don’t want to bring attention to me, but to glorify You in all I do and say.

Take a moment to think about this passage today.  Do you from time to time to react in anger?  What is going on in your own heart at the time causing you to react in anger?  Feel free to write the above prayer in your Bible or journal and make it your own commitment to the Lord.

Have a Grace Full Week ~




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