On Being "Triggered"

My kids have introduced me to a new word ... "triggered."  

Being "triggered" is when something has gotten you so agitated or irritated that you are about to react (and react badly) to some thing or some one.

When you are triggered, emotion seems to overpower reason, so that you find yourself doing things you know you shouldn't do. To be triggered is to lack control of your words and actions. (Think of a dog being triggered by a cat).

The reason I bring this up is that the word "triggered' fits so much of what happens on social media. The posts and comments are not measured, nuanced or thoughtful... they are angry, vengeful and myopic. The internet is filled with "triggered" people. In fact, the world is full of triggered people.

There are many reasons for this... anxiety, fear, restlessness, feeling like someone is trampling  on your "rights", feeling powerless, scapegoating, the need to control etc...

Mine is not to diagnose. Mine is to challenge us to the real and practical process of putting off dispositions/mindsets/attitudes that lead us away from God honoring lives and to lead us to "put on" dispositions/mindsets/attitudes which position us to love well, and be peacemakers in our world.

We cannot represent Christ as triggered people.

Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 

Our identity in Christ, our inclusion as God's people, & the knowledge that we are loved, gives us what we need to intentionally put down our weapons (to step out of being triggered) and to intentionally choose to practice and live out of the kind of character that honors God.

If you find yourself in a triggered state today... read and meditate on this passage until you come into God's peace...

Grace & Peace,
Brad Swope

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