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Summary: In the drama of life, how do you respond? There are many things that are beyond our control: the person that yells at us, the person that cuts us off in traffic, the store clerk that talks on the phone instead of helping us, the employee that never seems

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Over Re Acting

Series: Melodrama or Mellow-drama - Act 3

Introduction:

In the drama of life, how do you respond?

There are many things that are beyond our control: the person that yells at us, the person that cuts us off in traffic, the store clerk that talks on the phone instead of helping us, the employee that never seems to be there, the spouse or child that pushes your buttons, etc.

Life is like a drama. We all have these crossroads in life.

But will our lives be a “Melodrama or Mellow-drama”.

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a melodrama as “a drama with sensational action, extravagant emotions, stereotyped characters, etc.”

In other words, it is making something bigger than it really is or turning a situation into something emotionally extravagant. Sound familiar?

Richard Carlson in his book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff...” writes “In dramatic fashion, we blow things out of proportion, and make a big deal out of little things. We forget that life isn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be. We also forget that when we’re blowing things out of proportion, we are the ones doing the blowing.” (page 147)

In Act 1 of “Melodrama or Mellow-drama” we looked at the character Worry Wart.

In Act 2 of “Melodrama or Mellow-drama” we examined the individual Stress U Out!

Act 3 of “Melodrama or Mellow-drama” we find Over Re Acting!

Act 3, Scene 1: Who is Over Re Act?

So who is Over Re Act? And what is he all about?

Over Re Act is an individual that reacts “in an excessively emotional way.” (Webster’s)

When somebody does something to them, Over Re Act wants to do that back and more. A lot more.

Every generation has had Over Re Actors in them.

That is why in the Old Testament God set the law:

Leviticus 24:19-20 If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: [20] fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured.

Deut. 19:21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

God wants us to control our overreacting.

Act 3, Scene 2: Why does Over Re Act Overreact?

Over Re Act overreacts for various reasons. You name it and Over Re Act has reacted.

From overreacting about a clerk in a store to overreacting about someone driving slow in traffic.

Most of the time overreacting involves anger.

Illustration: “Road Rage” By Dan Betzer

It happened just a couple of blocks from my study yesterday afternoon; it was about 4 o’clock with rush hour traffic. Iti our burgeoning county, it sometimes seems like every car on earth is in my lane. A young fellow kept weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, cursing them. Finally he had to stop as cars were waiting for a light to change. The fellow behind him got out of his car, walked to the driver’s door, pushed the muzzle of a gun through the window and shot the driver in the head.

Headlines this morning shouted "Road Rage!" Now two questions pop into my mind immediately: 1) why would a driver act so foolishly? Turns out he’d been arrested umpteen times for drugs, booze, and driving without a license. So apparently it was his modus operandi behind the wheel. And 2) Why would that upset some other driver so much he’d spend the rest of his life in the slammer just for the act of killing the immature driver? My goodness, the rest of his life behind bars just for venting steam during one short moment of life.

Are you in control of your emotions? Are you easily enraged? God deals with those chinks in our armor through the fruit of the Holy Spirit such as patience, and goodness, and love. Sure better than guns! (From ByLine email, March 30, 2005)

Act 3, Scene 3: How to Defeat Over Re Act’s Overreacting?

How do we turn our character Over Re Acting from a melodrama to a mellow-drama?

How does Over Re Acting defeat the overreacting?

Let’s look at some other overreacters in Exodus 14:27-31.

Þ Over Re Act needs to learn to Trust God - Exodus 15:22-27

God was trying to teach Israel to trust him.

Moses was not their problem. There lack of trusting God was their problem.

Look at verse 25. The Bible specifically says that this was all a test. Why? Because God did not know what would happen? Or because Israel needed to know what was inside of them?

Over Re Acting keeps facing the same problems over and over and over again because he has not learned the lessons of trusting God.

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