No Use Crying (or Reacting) Over Spilled Coffee

Yesterday Owen spilled my entire cup of coffee on my MacBook Pro.  The keyboard, my iPod (which was connected to my computer), my phone (next to my computer), my calendar, and my clothes – all covered in coffee.  Was it an accident?  Yes.  Should I have had a lid on my coffee?  Probably.  Still, my reaction was less than Godly or motherly.  This hit me when Owen said, “Geezz, mom, how many times do I have to say I am sorry?”  Sigh.

Just after coffee clean up I got an email response that was no big deal – just a time change for something I was supposed to attend, but my reaction and response – less than stellar.  In fact, it was a bit mean.

My poor reactions reminded me of a blog I’d read about a month ago by Lysa TerKeurst called The Reactor Factor.    Around that same time I had also listened to Lysa’s message from Elevation Church on the same topic called Reaction Determines Reach.

This line from Lysa’s blog gave me pause:  “My reaction short circuited my reach.”  Her reaction kept her from leading a group when she was in college, for she lost her “reach” as a result of her poor reaction.  Her peers didn’t trust her as a leader because of that one reaction.

Her blog post hit home for me because some of my past reactions have resulted in a short -circuited reach.  When I reacted poorly or without thought or in defense, it labeled me – for better or worse – so when I do have a valid point or opinion, it’s taken less seriously.  While that makes me sad – and is a bit frustrating – it’s a consequence of my reactions.

Lysa’s message also included this:  “If I react out of my feelings then my flesh is going to be evident.  If I react out of the Spirit then the Spirit becomes evident.”  Ugh!   This is so true, but my life sometimes doesn’t reflect it.  My reactions to Owen and my friend’s email yesterday certainly weren’t examples of reacting out of the Spirit – definitely “feelings” reactions.

As I thought about “feelings” this morning, I turned to Galatians 5.  My favorite online ESV Bible labels Galatians 5: 16-26 “Keeping in Step with the Spirit.”  That sums it up.  I have to keep in step with the Spirit – daily, hourly, maybe even minutely (if that’s a word 🙂 ).

So, this morning, I am clinging to these verses:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

My reaction to sweet Owen?  Patient? Umm….no.   Kind?  Gentle?  No and no again.

Do you struggle with your reactions when someone spills milk (or coffee), fails to communicate, falsely accuses you, etc.?  Deep down, I really want to stand up and fight, but I know that is often pointless even harmful…and doesn’t show the Spirit but the flesh.

As I try to make much of Him today, I know I have to lean further into God so I won’t react with feelings but with the Spirit.  My reactions matter; please, Lord, never let me forget that.

NOTE:  The same boy who spilled coffee while goofing off, wrote this sweet letter to his buddy, Jackson, who fell while they were playing tag.



Lysa TerKeurst’s Blog

The Reactor Factor

Reaction Determines Reach

Galatians 5: 16-26 (ESV)





  1. Kristy James says:

    Oh how I can identify. I can’t wait to check out the resources posted. Take care.

  2. I am doing the Joyce Meyer boot camp and tonight’s lesson was on peace. She demonstrated how our flesh wants to react or even have tantrums. I can surely relate. She said we must pursue peace. In John 14:27 it is stated “Peace I leave with you.” We cannot say, “I can’t have peace in this situation, or I will never find peace…” It has already been given to us and according to her teaching, we must pursue it. We can let the flesh have it’s tantrums all it wants but then choose to move with peace. In order to do this we must be walking in the Spirit and keeping on minds on “right stuff”. She also reminds us that peace must be our umpire in life. Peace will guide us to what is right and what is wrong. I sure am pursuing peace and I hope in your journey that you find it too!

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