Knee-Jerk Reaction

Our first emotions are not always the best ones to base our actions off

Genesis 42:25-38

Reference: “Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”” Genesis‬ ‭42:36‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Explore: When something wrong happens it’s very challenging not to allow our emotions to get the better of us.

I get a call from the school principal to say my children have been misbehaving… My first response is to feel angry at them and embarrassed that they’ve made me look like a terrible parent.

My colleague misses a key deadline I required… My first response is to feel personally affronted that my work didn’t seem important enough for them.

My husband forgets a social event I had organised… My first response is to feel like he doesn’t care about the things I have planned.

You probably read those three situations and marvelled at how much of an over-reactor I am. Luckily for the people who are around me, I don’t allow these first feelings to dictate my actual response. But they are how I initially feel.

Our first emotions are not always the best ones to base our actions off as they come from a place of insecurity.

Application: Jacob expressed his feelings of insecurity when his sons came back from Egypt. He was protective of his family and concerned for the lives of his boys.

As the reader, who knows where Joseph sits in this story, it seems like Jacob is over-reacting to the situation. He leaves a son in prison and his family without access to grain because of his grief from losing his beloved Joseph so many years ago.

But I’m sure many other fathers would have the same response if they were in the same situation. A knee jerk reaction to protect and lock down those you love.

Knee jerk emotions are good to be aware of but very important not to base our major decisions on. Let’s not allow our insecurities to govern our future.

Prayer: Lord, there are times when my emotions run very high. Help me to understand where those feelings come from and draw on Your wisdom for my daily decisions. Amen.

When has a knee jerk reaction not worked out well for you?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.