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Thursday, February 26, 2015 Building the Right Reflexes

(Posted February 26, 2015)

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10, NASB).

“Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge" (Psalm 19:2, NASB).

“Reflexes” refer to an automatic response or reaction. 

For the football players amongst us, my football coach spent hours training me as a linebacker to respond “reflexively” to the actions of the guard in front of me.  If the guard pulls… do this, if he initiates a pass block… do that.  The decisions must be made in a split second.  As a young infantry officer, I learned about “actions on contact.”  What if we get ambushed … do this!  What if artillery…  do that!  As I became a husband and parent, I learned the “reflexive responses” that would maintain relational health in the family.  James 1:19 teaches us an important reflex in this regard:  “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Reflexes are an important part of living, of responding automatically in the right way at the right time.  Let’s dive deeper.

In Resilient Warriors, we introduced the Resilience Life Cycle© which includes the BEFORE phase, an intentional focus on building reflexes, building resilient behavior, so that we develop the right reflexes before the unexpected “body slam,” the untimely tragedy, the fractured relationship, the IED explosion in combat, the life changing medical diagnosis, or the many other ways in which we inevitably get thrown to the hard concrete of life.  The last step of the Resilience Life Cycle© BEFORE phase challenges us to develop healthy spiritual, emotional, and relational reflexes which allow us to respond quickly and properly to whatever might come our way.  

Draw courage from God's past faithfulness, and remember your calling to the high, noble purpose you serve.

These reflexes include asking for help from God and others, saturating yourself with God’s Word with every means available, maintaining healthy physical, mental, spiritual routines as much as possible, drawing courage from God’s past faithfulness, and remembering your calling to the high, noble purpose you serve. 

While the steps above certainly promote readiness for weathering major trauma in our lives, as well as helping us bounce back without getting stuck in the toxic emotions of guilt, false guilt, anger, and bitterness, I recently realized that there are smaller, but equally important, ways to hone our reflexes on a daily basis.  The verse from Luke depicted above contains the principle: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.” Thus, we must hone our reflexes in the “little things” on a daily basis.  You may have other ideas, but here are my top three morning reflexes, my “day starters,” which ensure readiness for whatever challenges or opportunities the day may bring, whether small or big:

  • PRIORITIZE — Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Hone the reflex of seeking first.  As a first order of business -- even before exercise, or the news, or that first cup of coffee -- draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you!
  • PRAISE — Psalm 19:2, “Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.”  Hone the reflex of gratitude.  Marvel at His goodness to you and those you love.  Maybe the day is “cloudy”… the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!  Loosen your grip on self-focus and self-expectation; wait expectantly on the Lord.   How did He “reveal knowledge” to you even while sleeping?  Will you be expectantly listening as He “pours forth speech” in the coming day?

  • PRAY — In Romans 12:1-2, Paul provides our daily mission statement as followers of Jesus: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Prayer is our spiritual firepower, the artillery that will chase away spiritual opposition, soften difficult challenges, and set the conditions for a successful day in the Lord.

Romans 12:12, a follow up on verses in which Paul tells us “how” to accomplish this excellence in Christian living, simply exhorts “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.”

This “devotion to prayer” must start in the morning and continue through the day.  Prayer is our spiritual firepower, the artillery that will chase away spiritual opposition, soften difficult challenges, and set the conditions for a successful day in the Lord.  Just as no good infantryman would consider attacking an enemy objective without first using artillery, so no resilient spiritual warrior should ever march into a day without focused, sincere, penetrating prayer.

May each of us build the right reflexes, day by day, being faithful in the little things so we are ready to be faithful in much.  Ready and Resilient!  God Style!

Put on your thinking cap.
Tell us what you think about this latest Resilience Blog!

Respectfully in Christ, 

Bob Dees
LU Institute for Military Resilience


PS: The next Institute for Military Resilience (IMR) Webinar entitled

“Marks of a Great Military Chaplain:
Caring for the Warrior’s Soul”

will be presented by Chaplain (Colonel) Steve Keith from the Liberty University Center for Chaplaincy at 8 PM on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Chaplain (Colonel) Steve Keith, USAF Retired, D.Min. – Active duty Air Force chaplain for over 30 years with multiple deployments into harm’s way, former director of the Armed Forces Chaplain Center and Commandant of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, and current Director of the Liberty University Center for Chaplaincy – is presenting our next webinar, seeking to best prepare chaplain students to provide soul care for the military members they will serve.

See you there for a powerful time of unique insights into caring for the warrior’s soul. Visit www.liberty.edu/IMRWebinars for more information.


Posted at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)
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