January 6, 2009
Come to a H.A.L.T.
How many people have lamented, If I had it do over again, I’d do it differently? “It” refers to decisions, actions, and conversations we’d like to take back. As King David mourned the sinful choices that made him an adulterer and a murderer, he probably thought about the righteous alternatives. Like David, we tend to make wrong decisions when we are ruled by our appetites rather than godly discernment (2 Sam. 11:4).
Foolishness of some kind often results when people give in to stress placed on body and mind. These “earthly vessels” are more vulnerable than we think. That’s why Christians shouldn’t make snap judgments when feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.). In those states, we are particularly at risk of making bad decisions with no lasting gain.
Craving immediate gratification makes for poor decision making. We need time to weigh a situation’s merits and drawbacks. And we must consider potential long-term outcomes, particularly if there might be an eternal impact. Sometimes that process takes a few minutes, but in other cases, we might have to deliberate and seek God’s guidance for weeks or months.
Satan is always on the lookout for a gap in the Christian soldier’s spiritual armor, but physical, mental, and emotional vulnerabilities prove handy for his cause as well. Do not give the Evil One a toehold! Keep yourself fed, rational, in good company, and rested. Then you are prepared to make godly judgments on the spot rather than thinking of them in retrospect.
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