Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Remember to H.A.L.T

How do you respond to physical discomfort?

For instance, if you feel pain in your hand don’t you check to see what is wrong?

Our feelings or moods function the same way.  They let us know to stop and check the condition of our heart and mind.

If you fail to check your heart and mind you become vulnerable to spiritual distraction or deception.

Remember that most temptations to sin against God are based on unmet desires or needs.

Too many Christian men fail to be honest about what they are thinking and feeling. 

Instead of being honest they live in denial.  They think they can handle temptations in their own strength.

And so they end up sinning against God and their families.

Charles Stanley used the acronym H.A.L.T. as way for us to recognize when we are vulnerable and need to check in with the Lord.

H for Hungry: There are all kinds of hunger like the emotional and spiritual hunger for success, validation or control (to name a few).  Sometimes God has you wait on his provision.  Sometimes we just have to hunger more for God. 

A for Angry: Anger is a secondary emotion.  This means that anger is often based on some kind of hurt.  I will also add that many brothers manifest anger because they are depressed and don’t know how else to express it.  How do you respond when you are hurt?

L for Lonely: Loneliness can hit a man hard.  Why?  What many men value most is autonomy and independence.  We grow up thinking that we don’t need anything or anybody.  But we are designed for relationship and intimacy.

T for Tired: I have a confession.  When I am tired or disturbed from sleep I am the most ornery, irritable and bad tempered brother.  Maybe I am not alone?  But being tired is not simply about the physical.  We can become emotionally and spiritually weary and faint.

Ah!  There is so much more to say, not just about H.A.L.T, but fear, sadness, frustration, anxiety, guilt and more!

My point: What you feel is not the sin.  What you feel is a warning.  A warning to HALT!  Stop!  Turn to God and not your own strength.

Through His grace God will keep you from falling.

But build your walls of protection by:
  1. Living life on purpose
  2. Designing protection and accountability into your life
  3. Having brothers you can call
  4. Renew your thinking by reading, studying and memorizing Scripture
Please tell me what you think and post your thoughts below.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio


  1. We need to be very careful not to bit off more than we can chew, or more than our emotional and spiritual digestive system can handle. Saying yes to everything means saying no to something and will lead to unmet desires and needs, and so one may end up sinning against family and God. The yes can become fundamental and the no can be detrimental (unfavorable) but beneficial. Quite frankly it can be the reverse as well. But if we are not careful we can throw our emotional and spiritual scales off as well. Time into something new for me means time away from something else often it has been my experience that it is time away from family.
    Yes, I agree with you Minister, what we feel is the warning that if not heeded can lead to sin. And yes we need to be honest about what we are feeling and thinking, making an assessment before a decision.
    I have sown into my life the “Is this you Lord” attitude and when something new is presented to me I always consider the law of first call. How am I doing with what God has called me first to do? What kind of effect will it have? How much time can I invest without other things suffering? This helps me check my heart and mind so that I do not become vulnerable to spiritual distraction or deception.
    In the words of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry “A man got to know his limitations”.
    In the words of the Master, Jesus Christ “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness and anxieties of life… and then he said “Be always on the watch, and pray… Luke 21 and in Mark 13, He said “Be on guard! Be alert!
    Thank you for this post.

  2. Thanks Jesus for sharing.
    I like what the Spirit has taught you, "Is this you Lord?"
    What a response!
    Many Christian men don't realize that we can simply speak to the Lord about what we are feeling.
    Of course this is the other challenge: Most men have short vocabulary lists when it comes to emotions.
    And a lot of us are like Vulcans from Star Trek; ashamed at any of our emotions except anger (because its macho to be angry).
    I love that line from Dirty Harry.


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