Prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. (I Peter 1:13-15)
Have you ever sat down, knowing you were about to face a tougher than usual circumstance, just preparing your heart and mind for what is about to happen? If we did this before we took any actions in life, I wonder how much of a difference it would actually make? I know we couldn't just take five before everything we are about to do, but if we prepare our hearts and minds first thing in the day, I wonder if our days would be a little less 'self-controlled' and a little more 'Spirit-controlled'?
Slipping back is easy - actually comprehending the triggers that cause us to slip back is a bit harder. This is where our time with Jesus is so important. We don't always have 'perfect sight' when it comes to the myriad of decisions we are going to make each day, but God does! So, isn't it a bit foolish of us to just march into our day without taking any time out to actually prepare for what lies ahead?
Two things really 'trigger' grumpiness in me: being tired and hungry. Get food onboard and my attitude brightens. Get the proper amount of rest so my body can be refreshed and I am ready for the day. Eliminate the triggers and the 'slipping' isn't going to occur as easily. These are two very simplified triggers that I mention, but you get the idea. When it comes to the bigger ones, such as what makes me respond in anger, I might just need a little insight outside of my own observations!
I consult with God, of course, but I also listen to what others are telling me. They see my behavior, and observe what leads up to it, so their feedback is critical to me. We may not know what causes us to 'slip back' or 'slip up', but when we have God's perspective, we can formulate a plan - being prepared for the moment that will come. When we have the feedback of faithful friends in this walk, we can take that to God and ask him for his help with what it is they have observed. If we want to walk 'holy' as God is holy, we need to prepare our hearts and minds for the steps we are about to take each and every day. Just sayin!