Learning to Deal with Overreacting

Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord today! In my daily time with God today, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about dealing with overreacting.

Dear Friend-Overreacting is the Mark of Spiritual Immaturity

Do you think you are an overreactor? After a situation comes up do you wish you had responded differently? In the church and home today many serious problems happen because of people overreacting. When we Biblically counsel people for marriage issues they are well down the road of the super overreactor! Let’s face it, we are all prone to overreacting at times. However, that is not the way God wants us to live.

Overreacting can lead to anger, bittiness, and clamoring (public quarreling).

Ephesians 4:29-31, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

When “let” is used at the start of a verse it means someone has to make a decision. One of the signs you can tell if a person is overreacting is how much and the way they talk. They will talk about a situation, person, or event incessantly. The more they talk the more they are going to overreact! They blow it up and way out of proportion. When you find yourself talking too much or excessively negatively, remember who is controlling you. Many couples work each other up because they talk too much! Everything is always bad. (They make it a lot worse than it really is!) Everything, leaders or people who have authority over them do is always bad! Everything the spouse does is always bad! Quite frankly, when people let all the bars come off the windows and doors things do get bad by overreacting! It keeps getting bigger in their life. There are people who come to church looking forward to overreacting! They say mean and hurtful things to others because they are not controlling their thought life. They gossip to others because they are overreacting! God wants you to trust Him and use the spiritual tools He has given you! The devil’s desire is for you to overreact! Satan is not omnipresent, or omniscient (all knowing). But boy, is he a good judge of our character! He knows what buttons to push in your life to get you to overreact.

Overreacting Shows a Lack of Faith in God

Remember “let”? At the point of spiritual impact we have to learn to take control of our old nature, our dark side, by making a godly decision at the point of impact. At the point of impact, train yourself to immediately stop, think and verbally turn this situation over to God! Instead of blowing it up and out of proportion, turn it over to God. Many spouses come home and murmur and complain about their bosses, things at work, who did what. They blow it up! I always encourage our counselees to minimize things rather than maximize them! God hates murmuring and complaining!

1 Corinthians 10:10-12, Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. (11) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

A person who overreacts and complains and murmurs thinks they are a spiritual person. However, the Bible makes it plain, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”.

At the point of impact take spiritual control. Do you know that God wants us to be Spirit controlled rather than flesh controlled!
Galatians 5:16-17, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

At the point of spiritual impact when you stop, think, rather than react, ask God to forgive you for the sin of overreacting in thoughts and words, fill you with the Holy Spirit, and then ask God what He wants you to praise Him and thank Him for? If you submit to God in this matter and allow Him to take care of the scenario in front of you at the point of spiritual impact, that is living by faith rather than living by overreacting! Living in the power of the flesh!

Remember When You Overreact You Are Not
Living by Trusting God!

James 4:7-8, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

The Double Minded Person Is an Overreactor!

James 1:8, A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Did you see, “Unstable in all his ways?” At the point of impact, when you turn it over to God and ask Him to show you what you can praise Him for, what happens? Immediately your thought life changes. Rather than overreacting you will now be thinking spiritual thoughts. You will be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:4-9, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation (self-control) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Did you notice in verse 8 there is nothing negative in this verse in the thinking? You are focused spiritually rather than fleshly overreacting.

Dictionary definition of overreacting: a word to describe something that did not happen, or is made worse than what really happened. To respond to something with too strong an emotion or with unnecessary or excessive action.

An Overreactor Is an Emotion Led Person

Disable the emotion control by asking God what to praise Him and thank Him for.

Hebrews 13:15, By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Remember, be the vessel God can use today by not letting yourself be a negative, complaining, prideful, and overreacting person. Focus on dealing with your sin of overreacting at the point of impact and repenting of it. Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of not overreacting, but humbly living for God! Praise Him whenever overreactors come your way!

Dr. Terry Coomer
Hope Biblical Counseling Center
Proverbs 3:5-6