That’s Why It’s Called Intentional Living

4 Jun

I read a column this week by a well-respected secular work coach who said most of us never get beyond knee jerk reactions, all life long.

She called them “reptilian functions” as they are governed by a lower layer of the brain than the one that governs conscious decision-making.

She said that even those who move beyond instinctual, knee jerk stuff rarely get beyond the next layer of the brain, the one that governs emotions.

So . . . We tend to go for the knee jerk reaction first, then maybe have some emotion-laden thoughts govern our behavior from there. We rarely make it to the flow of logical thoughts, building on one another.

Even those who pride themselves on being logical may actually be using their so-called logic to emotionally punish people for things tied up in emotional reactions.

There is nothing wrong with instincts; there is nothing wrong with emotions. God created them.

However, He created us to live intentionally in Christ, thinking about our actions and reactions and editing them when they are not appropriate.

Lashing out against someone in a knee jerk reaction or blanketing someone with an emotional tirade (or a cold, silent emotional reaction) does not honor the Lord who made and redeemed us. It does not honor His image in the people we victimize.

We are created for intentional living where, fully alive, we use the brain He gave us to collaborate with Him, as we consciously decide what to do.

Our instincts and emotions, it has been said, are fully part of the train. However, they are the caboose, not the engine.

We reflect His creativity, and honor Him, when we live intentionally.

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