Friday, 9 December 2011

Red Flag

Did you ever here the expression, “that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull”? I take this to mean that there is something about the color red or perhaps a fluttering flag that incenses a bull and causes him to flare his nostrils and come after the flag waving fool.
Well I think there is a little bull in all of us and at least at one time or another someone, most likely your spouse has waved the proverbial red flag in front of you.

To put it in humanistic terms the bull is getting in touch with his feelings. He knows that red ticks him off and most likely so does the person waving the flag. As a rule, you too know what angers, frustrates, hurts, saddens or embarrasses you. Maybe you haven’t labeled your feelings but your response to certain words, specific situations and/or some people elicits a negative feeling.

The question then becomes what kinds of behaviors do you exhibit when one of these emotional triggers is waved in front of you? Do you lash out, sulk, yell, withdraw, etc.?
From a Christian perspective it is believed that all emotions emanate from the heart. The heart in biblical terms is synonymous with the mind, the will and the emotions. Thus whatever comes out of you when the flag is waved in front of you is what is actually inside you. (Mark 7:20-23)

So when I behave irrationally when my computer has been taken over by space invaders, it is not the computers fault, nor that of the men from Mars, but the way that I choose to respond that signals that my heart may need laser surgery. As my loving wife so aptly pointed out after I had one of my hissy fits “Do you think you might be angry with God?” (I can’t believe I put that in print) You see I expect some aspects of life to run according to my play book. I expect people to be considerate of others and to follow through with what they say they will do. I expect computers to do exactly what they are supposed to do 100% of the time. I expect my car to start when I turn on the key. Well you get the picture. Since there is only one all sovereign God under whose loving watch all things happen, who else am I blaming when things don’t go according to me?

The point is that there is always an underlying cause whenever we get upset. At such a time we need to ask ourselves “what is it that I want?” Do I want my way, do I want peace and quiet, do I want to be respected, etc. While what you desire may not be a bad thing, such as respect, it becomes a bad thing when it rules your behavior.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful explanation, accurate, truthful, and a sense of humor.

    ReplyDelete

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