A proactive person acts in advance to deal with an expected
difficulty (American Heritage Dictionary). He bases choices
on values and principles, rather than desires, feelings,
circumstances, conditions, and environment.
Although proactive choices can be made according to feelings,
they are compatible with our values. On the other hand,
reactive choices are based only on feelings whereby we often
sacrifice our values because of our feelings.
Review: Part I
In Part I of this series, we noticed that God commands Christians
to be prepared and ready. Therefore, we must be proactive
in our approach to life. God promises that we'll always
have a choice in regards to sin (1 Cor. 10:13). It's our
job to proactively think through temptation, rather than
react based on feelings that could lead to sin.
Commitment Required To Be Proactive
Jesus tells us the commitment we must possess to be His
disciples. He says, "If anyone comes to Me and does not
hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers
and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My
disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after
Me cannot be My disciple. . . . So likewise, whoever of
you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple"
As proactive individuals, prepared and ready to face whatever
may come our way, our affections are aimed toward Christ
and serving him. Anything less will result in reactive behavior
aimed at satisfying fleshly desires.
Commitment: Love God
In a nutshell, our commitment is to love God more than anything
or anyone else, even ourselves. We love God with all out
heart, soul, strength and mind (Lk. 10:27). Therefore we
love the truth, which is God's word (2 Th. 2:10; Jn. 17:17).
"Love" (agape) is a mental commitment. Because agape does
not involve feelings and emotions, it requires a proactive
life, making decisions based on values rather than feelings.
Tempted By Persecution and Lust
All Christians will suffer persecution. Paul said, "Yes,
and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecutions" (2 Tim. 3:12). When enduring persecution,
we're tempted to be reactive rather than proactive -- we're
tempted to make decisions based on feelings, to remove the
sorrow and shame associated with persecution.
Furthermore, we're tempted by our own lusts (strong desires
Lust is a feeling. When we're tempted by lusts, we are
tempted by sinful feelings. The only cure is to remove our
feelings and emotions from the decision making process,
and proactively use our minds to choose the way of escape
God provides (1 Cor. 10:13).
Equipped With God's Word
God equips us with His word to deal with every situation
we'll face. Paul tells us, "All Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man
of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2
As proactive individuals, we think through every situation
that confronts us, using God's word rather than feelings
and emotions to make decisions, knowing the answer to every
problem we'll face is in the Bible that equips us for every
Proactively Walk In The Light
Throughout the Bible, "light" represents holiness and "darkness"
represents sin, "light" represents eternal life and "darkness"
represents eternal damnation.
Christians walk in the light and are saved. John says,
"but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus
His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7).
To walk in the light, we proactively make decisions based
on values taught in God's word, rather than walking according
to human emotions and feelings. Walking in the Light, we
are saved, and we're illuminating the path to heaven for
others in the world.
Parents Teach Children To Be Proactive
To bring our children up in the training and admonition
of the Lord, we must teach them to act in advance to deal
with problems, basing their decisions on principles from
God's word rather than feelings and emotions.
For example, we teach children to overcome peer pressure
by proactively thinking through temptation and obeying God,
rather than sinfully reacting according to their feelings
Proactively acting in advance, a young person avoids many
situations where peer pressure exists. And when confronted
with pressure to sin, he's already decided what he'll do
and say -- he carries out his predetermined plan and does
Summary: Think And Plan Ahead
God commands Christians to be prepared and ready. Therefore,
we must be proactive in our approach to life.
As proactive people, we base our choices on the values
and principles in the Bible, rather than desires, feelings,
circumstances, conditions, and environment.
We can do this because our affections are aimed toward
Christ and serving him, loving God with all our heart, soul,
strength, and mind, equipped with God's word to deal with
every temptation and trial, as we walk in the Light.