I have had occasion over the last few days of interactions with people to recall a five letter acronym – HALT-B – that represents five different states of being or moods that can be triggers in a person’s life and potentially lead to all kinds of poor decisions and behaviors. They are subtle things that on the surface do not seem very powerful. Yet even one of them can spawn undesirable things and the more of these states/moods that are present in an individual at any given point in time, the more vulnerable that individual is. Let’s look at the five:

H – hungry
A – angry
L – lonely
T – tired
B – bored

Take a moment and think back over situations in your life when you may have compromised your boundaries or your values, or made rash decisions with long-term effect, or found yourself trying to cope with life using unhealthy methods – bet you will find some combination of the five strongly present.

Let’s be clear, these are not excuses or justifications for poor choices and behaviors. Quite the opposite, they are all states/moods over which we have control; and once we recognize them, we need to do something about them. They say, “The best defense is a good offense” and that applies here.

So what positive actions can a person take? Well, the actions for four of them are pretty straightforward:

  • Hungry? Then eat; regularly and healthily.
  • Tired? Slow down and rest; take a nap (I just did!).
  • Bored? Determine to be active and do something of a positive nature.
  • Lonely? In this acronym, the lonely being discussed is the physical absence of people; the answer lies in finding ways to engage and be around others.
  • Angry? This last one might take a little more effort. Anger is only truly resolved through forgiveness which requires determination and effort; but it is still a choice that can be made.

Trust me, the devil will work overtime when he finds us in one or more of these state/moods, especially if we are unaware or are downplaying them. Hey, how about we fight back this week?

Pastor Jim

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