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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Think before acting


Sometimes people do not think before they act. They have so much passion about something that they want to forge ahead and engage in a series of actions before they think about the consequences of their actions. Someone has said that actions have consequences. We frequently read about business people or politicians enacting some policy that results in the final analysis with unintended consequences.

The Christian would be well served to heed the warning in the Bible at Proverbs 19:2:

"It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily makes poor choices."

One day I remember I played hide-and-seek with my little Sister. It was mid-morning and my Mother was inside the house. My Sister was not too much older than a toddler. When it was my turn to hide I knew that I could find the best place where my Sister could not find me. I did.

The old icebox was in the garage, sitting toward the back, with some lumber stacked around it. Climbing over to the front door, I opened it, climbed inside and shut the door to the sound of a definite "click." Almost from the moment I heard that sound I realized it was a mistake. I was taken with the realization that it was very quiet inside; it was also so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. With all my might I began kicking and pushing on the door trying with all my strength to open it.

My Sister had long since abandoned her search for me, and had already turned her interest somewhere else. My Mother, of course knew nothing of the game we were playing. Time passed and I continued to try to break free. All my efforts failed; with each try my strength ebbed, until I felt I was going to collapse. Somewhere in the distance I could hear my Mother calling my name.

With all the strength I could call upon, I once again began screaming for help. One last cry for help and then I was silent. It seemed only a moment when the door to the icebox opened fully. The light poured in, even from that dingy garage. My Mother grabbed me up from my would-be tomb and ran into the house to nurse me back to health. It was only by the grace of God and the fact that she had completed lunch that she called for me, and found me.

For sure in this case actions were initiated before the thinking was in place. Perhaps that could have been avoided only if knowledge about the situation had been gained prior to the "shutting of the door." To avoid this predicament Christians should consider the following:

When intense passion for a particular issue overtakes you, stop for a moment and consider the situation.
Consider all the possibilities of the actions and try to imagine the consequences of each of those actions.

Continue to move slowly and cautiously, gaining as much counsel and knowledge as possible prior to plunging into your actions.

Try to consider each of the decisions that must be made for each action contemplated. Consider that decision and try to see the outcome of that decision to determine if it brings the intended consequences.

Share with trusted friends or family what your decisions might be and what your expected consequences might be. Ask them to watch your back as you move toward your desired actions.

Prior to plunging ahead, pray for guidance from God and the leading of His Spirit.

Move on to take the actions you intended…Then take responsibility for all you actions whether they are successful or turn out to be a mistake.












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