Automatic Behavior
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Automatic Behavior

While walking my dog last evening I watched one of my neighbors pull out of her driveway.  She used her turn signal.   Obviously it was an involuntary habit since there was no other car in sight and traffic behind her was minimal.   While purchasing a book at a store filled with people I know including the person behind the counter, I was amused that the clerk retained my credit card so she could verify my signature.   I am going to assume it was an automatic involuntary habit.

Philippians 2:5 has always been one of my favorite verses.  “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ.”    When this happens we will do all manner of things automatically.  Our first response to pleasant or unpleasant events would be one which would please our mothers.  How grand it would be if we automatically lived out the standards presented to us in the Sermon on the Mount.  I can only imagine what it is like to desire the best for people who disrespect me.  That response is not my natural first reaction.

When we come to understand it is not other’s actions that cause us internal strife but instead our reaction to other’s actions, we have made a giant step toward an abundant tranquil life.  While it is true Jesus did on occasion get angry, it only occurred when He noticed the strong abusing the not so strong.   We have no record of Jesus being angry in response to actions directed against Him.   It is a worthy goal that is most likely not about to happen to most of us today or tomorrow, but with the aid of the Holy Spirit we can make progress each day.

Written by Roger Bothwell on April 5, 2009

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574