In this post we will be looking at one technique that can help us quiet our emotions, and help us evaluate circumstances/situations that may be harmful to us. I call it…
RESPONDING VS. REACTING
When there is an “object of temptation” right in front of us – it could be food, a movie, a person I like or dislike, a book/magazine, a website, a $10 bill laying on the ground – I can choose RESPOND or REACT. When I choose to respond I activate my reasoning, allowing me to sort out the information I’m presented, and make an informed decision. When I choose to react I activate my feelings, which are not capable of sorting out information, but only concerned about gratifying my present needs.
Here’s an example —
If I’m caring for a sick child, friend, spouse, etc. I look at the person, I evaluate their condition, I ask them what their symptoms are, and then I thoughtfully proceed with a course of action. Perhaps I offer chicken soup with crackers, or an Ibuprofen and suggest laying down for a bit?
However, when I, myself, am sick, just forget it!! I can’t think at all it seems. I can’t figure out that chicken soup would be helpful, or that an Ibuprofen would reduce my discomfort. Why not?? Because when I’m sick, first and foremost, I’m feeling, not thinking. Feeling pain, feeling discomfort, feeling, feeling, feeling. It is as though I’m in a mental fog. I’m not evaluating or logically thinking through my condition. — Remember, feelings can’t sort out information.
Here’s another example —
I see a slice of cheesecake on a plate. I have two options —
I can REACT…
That slice of cheesecake sure looks good. So creamy and fruity…
One teeny-weeny taste, that’s all I’ll have…
It’s sure going to be AWESOME when it hits my taste buds…
I can RESPOND…
Thinking… Asking myself — what are the possible consequences of this choice? What are the ingredients in the cheesecake? How much fat is in that slice of cheesecake? Does indulging align with my personal health goals?
Is that 5 minutes, more or less depending on how quickly you eat, of pleasure, worth the hour it will require sweating on the treadmill to burn off the 244 calories/12 g of fat?
Now you might be saying. I don’t care!! I want the ______ !! (fill in the blank with your temptation).
And this is exacting the point I’m making — EMOTIONS SHUT DOWN OUR REASONING
Emotions/feelings REACT – often times causing us to throw caution to the wind
Reasoning/intellect RESPONDS – allowing me the opportunity to think through my options and make a decision I’m less likely to regret later.
Although I’ve used fairly inconsequential examples in this post, they are intended to be representative of much more significant, maybe even life changing, “temptations” – Should I be flirting with someone if I’m married? Should I drive after I’ve had a couple of beers? Is _?? ok, just this one time? I’m young, I just wanna have fun! I won’t get caught!
THINK about this verse from 2 Peter, and notice the beneficial progression of RESPONDING…
When we apply our knowledge –> we develop self-control.
When we apply self-control –> we develop patience and perseverance.
When we apply patience and perseverance –> we develop a godly character.
When we apply a godly character –> we develop kindness to others.
When we apply kindness to others –> we develop love.
2 Peter 1:6-7
** IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM MY READERS 🙂 SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LIKE OR COMMENT BELOW 🙂 **
** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **
Me?? – My Own Worst Enemy?? – TEMPTATION  – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-AR
Healthy Seeds!! —> Healthy Harvest!! – TEMPTATION  – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ
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