4 Ways to Respond to Life

“Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.”

– Charles Swindoll

Drives Us to Our Knees

I have to admit that God had to break me before He could fix me. That is, God had to humble me before He extended His grace to me. James writes that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), and until I humbled myself, I didn’t see the need for grace. Either we will humble ourselves or He will do it for us, and guess which is more painful. If life knocks us to our knees, we’re already in the right position to pray.

Drives Us to a Dependence on God

I think that when, not if, life knocks us to the ground, God may want us to be more dependent on Him. God doesn’t want us to live our lives in our own strength; that doesn’t turn out well anyway. But when we are fully dependent on Him, that’s what He wanted in the first place. Besides, do we really want to live the Christian life in our own power, using our own resources? I don’t. I tried that, and it didn’t work very well for me.

Drives Us to His Word

I had a very rough week not long ago. It seemed that everything was falling apart around me. What did I do? I sought solace in the Word of God, in particular the Book of Psalms. There is real power in God’s Word. We can find the mind of God in the Word of God when we are in need of God. As David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:7). Use the Word of God to pray back to God; at least you know you’re being biblical.

Drives Us to Godly Counsel

In the very rough week I mentioned earlier, I sought God in prayer. I knew only God could help me. I dove into His Word, but I also sought godly counsel, which is a biblical thing to do in response to life when we you the wind knocked out of you. Solomon wrote, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). Don’t be afraid to humble yourself before others and seek their godly wisdom. I believe that every Timothy needs a Paul and every one of us needs a mentor, but we also need to be a mentor to someone else who is a newer Christian in the faith.


Charles Swindoll is right: Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it. I urge you to respond in prayer, to acknowledge your dependence on God, to find help in His Word, and to seek godly counsel.