Learning from Professional Athletes
Life is inevitably complex and challenging. There are many daily obstacles we need to manoeuvre ourselves around or over. Like surfers, rock-climbers and endurance athletes, we rely heavily on feedback from various indicators, reports and input from our surroundings to orientate ourselves. An experienced surfer can feel instinctively a coming set of waves that determines his decision to best position himself. The accuracy of his interpretation of the underlying currents determines his finding the best waves, an acute ability developed over years of surfing.
Rock-climbers know the limits of their bodies to gauge the effective hold of their grip, the right anchor points, and line of climb. Their ability to rightly read and interpret the feedback from their muscles and other indicators determine their success. Misreading any of these indicators can lead to death.
Endurance athletes use smartwatches to provide them vital information like heart rate and speed to gauge depletion levels. Miscalculation means one can deplete one’s energy before the end of the race and bonk. Bonking (“hitting the wall”) means that you haven’t taken in enough carbohydrates and have exhausted your body’s glycogen stores, leaving you with abnormally low blood glucose levels. Your body can only store enough glucose (in the form of glycogen) to last you for about 90 minutes of moderate exercise. Anything longer than this and you will need to take in some more glucose for your body to function correctly.
Filter and Scrutinise the Data
Living this life and mitigating its obstacles entails the interpretation of various reports and social feedback. Consequently, bank statements, debt reports, health and medical reports, social media likes and stats, academic reports, Google, facial expressions, smartwatches, conversations, gossip, social media, news feeds, mainstream opinions, and theories provide a variety of input-data feedback by which we make our decisions. One can analyze each item on this mentioned list for consistent accuracy, but the unmentioned most significant indicator people use are their feelings. ‘How did something make me feel’ became the mantra of the populous, which is ironic, living in the age of information.
Read: 2 Samuel 18:19-33: David, engaged in a war with his son Absalom. He gave his generals a direct command: “Deal gently with the young man Absalom”. Once Absalom was killed, the story unfolds the details of who should bring him the message. One messenger was directed with a specific message that bare the good news of victory but the terrible news of Absalom’s death. The second was driven by emotion and even outran the first, but did not disclose the detail of the boy’s death. “The accuracy of the message will determine the value of the messenger” We are living in a time where we are flooded with so much information, it seems messengers, bloggers and news agencies are more concerned at being first than to be accurate.
Unfortunately, feelings can be very misleading.
Trusting your gut is undoubtedly, for most people, the most important indicator that finally determines their decisions and actions. Like surfers, mountain climbers and endurance athletes, we are supposed to train our gut feeling. They process a host of sensory and internal body signals to make split-second decisions, trained over years of experiences. Notably, rated by the amount of failed business, foreclosures, divorces, break-ups, and accidents, people are seemingly not paying attention to the right and valid indicators. Jordan B Peterson explains in his book 12 Rules For Life, from recent studies how people take better care of their pets when following direct medical instructions than themselves. People seem to be trusting their feelings more than medical professionals.
The fact is, not all professional academic reports are accurate. Constantly new reports are tabled, disproving a previous assertion. The Bible speaks of false reports (Exo 23:1), bad reports (Num 13:32) false witnesses (Exo 5:20), and evil reports (Num 14:37) that mislead. Thus, one must learn to test, verify, and filter all these reports and, as believers, discern God’s voice above all these voices as He will lead us to rich fulfilment.
Jacob ignored the voice of his son and trusted his carnal feelings, blessing the wrong son. Of course, God did allow this to happen because Esau sold his birth rite, not tell his father. This story provides us with a beautiful metaphor of how we can get it wrong. (Gen 27:1-29)
The Bible does provide us with a failsafe method to help us make the right decisions:
The Knowledge of God is our template
The longest Psalm in the Bible is Ps 119. In this psalm, David praises God for His right judgments, precepts, directives, laws, and truth.
Our safeguard in making the right decisions is knowing God’s will, law, precepts, way of doing things. Until we come to the full knowledge of God is set as the final end-goal of maturity of the saints. (Eph 1:17; 3:19; 4:13) The will of God is no longer a mystery. Jesus removed the veil of obscurity and mystery of the Godhead. He clearly states and explains the will, way and heart of the father.
The Kingdom constitution of life leads and a clear path to follow:
- The Weak are Full Citizens in heaven.
- When you want to lead, you need to serve.
- Maturity Is To Become Like ʼn Child.
- If You Want to Live, You Must Die
- We Gain More By Giving More
- We Fight Harder By Resting Harder
- Seeking to please God, seek first His righteousness.
- Want to be known, embrace obscurity.
- Rise with more authority learn to obey.
- Resist evil by doing good.
This Kingdom way of living provides security and stability to the believer in the same way that the three-point climbing pattern provides surety to the experienced rock-climber. Practicing the basics of rock-climbing methodology eventually becomes second nature. In the same way, believers practice the kingdom methodology until it becomes a way of thinking, consciousness, and life.
Only do what you have faith for
The primary guiding principle of Kingdom Living, is faith! What is not done by faith is sin. (Rom 14:23). Only Faith can please God (Heb 11:6). We live by faith, not by sight. (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb. 10:38). We live by faith, not by our feelings. We live by faith and confidence in Christ alone. (Heb 10:35)
Transformed Desires and Passions
There is no Hebrew word for will. The Hebrew language says you desire to do something, instead of you decided or willed something. Our desires have to be reformed and redirected by the knowledge of God we learn first-hand from the Word and the Spirit. Knowing and experiencing God first-hand changes our passions and desires. Once our desires are reverted, our feelings and emotions naturally follow.
Feelings are important because it fuels our activity. Without emotions and feelings, we become robots without passion. An untrained bull that is not domesticated jump fences, mates whoever he wants, competes with other bulls and operates in isolation. Likewise, people who did not have their emotions, passions and feelings trained. Following and living in close proximity to Christ entails daily correction of your will and desires. The more time we spend discovering the ways of God regarding business, law and order, wellness, learning, and relationships, the better one becomes in mitigating life’s challenges and find order in the chaos.
Dealing with negative feelings and emotions:
- Describe what you feel explicitly accurately.
- What specifically needs to change.
- Take Responsibility and request specific help.
- Celebrate and reward particular change.
Knowing God’s will and way of doing life is further complemented by:
- Prophetic Revelations illuminate, clarify and encourage us that we have heard right.
- Body interactions help us confirm our inner convictions when other co-laborers exchange similar interactions and revelations from the Father.
- Fruits of righteous or divine break-throughs become like monuments, reminding us of the things He has already done.
Negative Feelings List:
Afraid, aggravated, agitated, alarmed, aloof, angry, anguished, annoyed, anxious, apathetic, apprehensive, aroused, ashamed, beat, bewildered, bitter, blah, blue, bored, brokenhearted, chagrined, cold, concerned, confuse, cool, cross, dejected, depressed, despairing, despondent, detached, disaffected, disenchanted, disappointed, discouraged, disgruntled, disgusted, disheartened, dismayed, displeased, disquieted, distressed, disturbed, downcast, downhearted, dull, edgy, embarrassed, embittered, exasperated, exhausted, fatigued, fearful, fidgety, forlorn, frightened, frustrated, furious, gloomy, guilty, heavy, helpless, hesitant, horrified, horrible, hostile, hot, hurt, impatient, indifferent, intense, irritated jealous, jittery, lazy, lethargic, lonely, mad, mean, miserable, mopey, mournful, nervous, numb, overwhelmed, panicky, passive, perplexed, pessimistic, puzzled, rancorous, reluctant, repelled, resentful, restless, sad, scared, sensitive, shaky, terrified, tired, troubled, uncomfortable, unconcerned, uneasy, unglued, unhappy, unnerved, unsteady, upset, uptight, vexed, weary, wistful, withdrawn, woeful, worried, wretched.
Positive Emotions Words List:
Absorbed, adventurous, affectionate, alert, alive, amazed, amused, appreciative, astonished, blissful, breathless, buoyant, calm, carefree, cheerful, comfortable, content, confident, curious, dazzled, delighted, eager, ecstatic, effervescent, elated, enchanted, encouraged, energetic, enthusiastic, excited, exhilarated, expectant, fascinated, free, friendly, fulfilled, glad, gleeful, glowing, good-humored, grateful, gratified, happy, hopeful, inquisitive, inspired, interested, intrigued, invigorated, involved, joyous, joyful, jubilant, loving, mellow, merry, moved, optimistic, overjoyed, overwhelmed, peaceful, perky, pleasant, pleased, proud, quiet, radiant, rapturous, refreshed, relaxed, relieved, satisfied, secure, sensitive, serene, spellbound, splendid, stimulated, surprised, tender, thankful, thrilled, touched, tranquil, trusting, upbeat, warm, wide-awake, wonderful, zestful.
Emotional standoff before TRUTH
One cannot help to feel a host of emotions. Emotions are normal. Emotions that are based on wrong presumptions and conclusions are dangerous. Remember, Satan is called the father of lies and is a master of delusions. Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly. (Prov 15:21) We must thus learn to bring your presumptions, thoughts, and premonitions to the Court of Truth to be judged and discerned. The Truth encounter disempowers the strongholds of lies in one’s heart and gives you a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
διακρισις diákrisis; gen. diakríseos, fem. noun from diakríno (G1252), to distinguish, decide, judge. A distinguishing, discerning clearly, i.e., spoken of the act or power (1Co 12:10; Heb 5:14).
By implication Rom 14:1, literally meaning not for scrutinizing of thoughts, i.e., not with searching out and pronouncing judgment on their opinions (cf. Rom 14:5, Rom 14:13). This also could be rendered as doubts, scruples.
Syn.: diágnosis (G1233), diagnosis, judgment, thorough understanding; gnome (G1106), opinion.
Ant.: apáte (G539), deceit; pláne (G4106), delusion, error; agnóema (G51), ignorance.