“Everything you do is triggered by an emotion
of either desire or fear.”
-Brian Tracy-Motivational Speaker
I don’t know how true this quote is, but I was definitely triggered yesterday. Someone attempted to put me in what I perceived was a potentially dangerous situation and I became irate. When I believe my personal or emotional safety or worth is being discounted or disrespected, it can be a trigger. To be TRIGGERED means to distress someone typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience, that causes them to react. I was so upset, I had to walk away and gather myself. Sometimes when you’re triggered, you don’t realize that anger could be inside. Triggers bring those feelings to the surface. Because anger is an emotion I’m learning to better engage (women are usually ‘not allowed’ to have anger), I had to reflect on what past incidences might be at the root of that kind of reaction within me.
Have you ever been triggered? I’m sure you have. Pastor Chuck Swindoll says that, “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” That is generally true. However, triggers happen so fast you often don’t have time to follow James’ prescription, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger
; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20) Before you know it, you’ve risen up against the perceived threat. Let’s say Brian Tracy’s thoughts are on track, the Holy Spirit could allow us to be triggered so that we can begin to look deeper and heal our fear and anxiety or adjust our lusts/desires so that we are not triggered again in the future. There is something about the root of the trigger that says God is not in control, nor does He care about my well being.
The enemy uses triggers to expose our lusts and fears, and to eventually condemn and accuse us, and God. He did it with Adam and Even in the Garden in Genesis 3. Satan tempted them with their desire to be like God, as if the LORD was depriving them of something good. Once they’d yielded to the temptation, gotten what they desired, and gone into hiding; he withdrew and allowed them to be alone in their guilt, shame, disgrace and condemnation. Then they were triggered by fear when God sought them out and they hid from Him. Triggers remove you from, or at the very least make you less aware of God’s presence with you. When triggered, we are in a carnal state, yielding to the flesh, versus being spiritually minded and in life and peace. When in the flesh, we are not pleasing God and are subject to all kinds of regret when our actions don’t line up to His standards. (Romans 8:6-10) This damages our reputation and witness.
How do we stop being triggered? It’s hard to do when you don’t know it’s coming. We can just acknowledge that we’ve been triggered, find out the root cause and make every effort to deal with it so that it won’t recur. I’d love to say triggering will never happen, but as long as there is more room for healing and deliverance…it will.
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