Recently a young person I know and love made a negative statement to me. When I began to respond she asked, “Are you going to overreact again?”
At times the two of us have had issues in our relationship, and I realized at that moment this was the reason why. I tended to overreact.
I looked up the word in the dictionary. Here are some of the definitions I found: “to respond more emotionally or forcibly than is justified,” “To be more worried, annoyed, or offended by something than you should be,” “to react disproportionately, act irrationally, or lose one’s sense of proportion,” “to blow things out of proportion,” and “to make a mountain out of a molehill.”
I discovered that because of my propensity to overreact, this young person sometimes backed off from me and didn’t want to tell me things. As I reflected on my years of raising my two daughters, I saw that my children did the same thing at times because of my overreactions.
As we talked about my bad habit of making mountains out of molehills, this insightful young person pointed out what she thought was at the root of the problem. “It’s because you overthink things.”
“I do the same thing sometimes,” she added.
I realized that overreacting and overthinking were tied in with my being prone to worry and fear. Someone says one negative statement to me, and fear rushes in convincing me that that one comment will lead to wrong actions and a sure slide down a slippery slope. And when I’m feeling that God won’t do anything about it, I convince myself that I must keep that from happening, and so I become intense in my reaction.
That’s what I had done in this instance.
I apologized for my overreacting ways, which I admitted showed my lack of trust in God.
Three verses came to mind this week which could help me to stop overreacting—if I fully embrace them.
One is 1 Peter 3:6:
“And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].” (AMP)
Verse number two is Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV)
The third verse is 1 Peter 5:7.
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (AMP)
Instead of overreacting to statements and situations, my goal is to more and more turn things over to the Lord and receive His peace in exchange for my fears. Lord, make me more like You.
This song has blessed me this past week.
“Come As You Are” by Crowder