When in combat, there are certain actions you need to take automatically. Pausing to try to figure out what you need to do could result in harm or death to you or others. To prepare soldiers the Army (at least they did a LONG time ago when I was in) drills and drills soldiers on how to react almost instinctively to certain situations such as an ambush. They called these exercises Immediate Action Drills. At a certain point, your reaction to certain situations becomes almost instinctive – which is the point.
The point is made that when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger was able to land his passenger jet on the Hudson River with no loss of life, it was due to years of training that enabled him to quickly make the right decisions almost instinctively. So, the questions is – how are you training yourself so that when you are in the midst of a crisis, you make the right decisions? I am talking now more about a personal crisis – a time when extreme pressure comes about to make a decision to possibly compromise your values, great personal loss and the many other things most of us face sometime in our lives. What are you doing to prepare yourself?
In his book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, N. T. Wright talks about a threefold pattern of character development.
Have the right goal – loving God and others.
Identify the steps to the goal – self-giving love, kindness, humility, forgiveness – and practicing these things until they become habit, they become your “natural” response to the challenges of life.
The power to implement these steps – following Jesus and depending on the Holy Spirit.
The key is to practice and practice doing these things until they become your instinctive response to situations. So that you do respond in self-giving love to others, so that kindness is a natural reponse, so that you are quick to forgive others.
The other key is to understand that it is not possible to do without the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. It is by His power that you are able to truly build these habits into your life.
Now when are you going to take some time to get before the Lord and design your training program?
Blessings on your week,