Irrational Behavior

December 31, 2014

Irrational Behavior

            Physical suffering can be intense, but often emotional suffering is even more intense. It is most often caused by irrational behavior, which stems from irrational thinking. By emotional suffering we mean that which results from problems like infidelity in marriage, divorce, addictions, laziness, etc.

Irrational behavior needs to be replaced by biblical behavior. Secularism has left many confused about what rational behavior is. Biblical behavior is rational behavior, but to many with a secular mind, it doesn’t appear to be rational. I Corinthians 2:13-14 says, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Spiritual truths cannot be comprehended with a secular mind.

An axiom of science is that every effect has a cause. We need to look for the cause for all the emotional suffering people are going through. When we find a cause we need to look for a solution. Most often the cause will be found to be irrational thinking.

When a new disease appears, vast sums of money are spent in research to identify the virus that causes the disease. When that is found another vast sum of money is spent in search of an antibody that will destroy the virus. Why isn’t the same effort expended in search of a cure for emotional suffering?

The most logical explanation for that is that emotional suffering is caused by irrational behavior. The only cure for irrational behavior is to confront the guilty people with the fact that they aren’t thinking rationally. Our culture has placed a stigma on those who are confrontational. Those who confront the guilty are accused of having a lack of compassion and being judgmental, or intolerant.

Those who are suffering from their irrational behavior need compassion, but often the best way to be compassionate is to be confrontational. If we find someone in the midst of a mess he has made because of his irrational behavior, it isn’t sufficient to just give him some money to replace what he has lost. He needs help in understanding what is causing him to do irrational things. For example: if we are asked to defray the expenses of an elderly woman who is hospitalized the second time with pneumonia, we may need to have a talk with her and explain to her that she needs to put a warm coat on before going outside in cold weather. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Irrational behavior is increasing because people aren’t thinking rationally about the best way to confront it. Millions of dollars are being spent to maintain and expand our prison system. Very little effort is being made to help prisoners see that their behavior causes suffering in society. We need to make a concerted effort to persuade them to change their irrational way of thinking. As it is, the great majority of prisoners, on being released, go back to the same irrational behavior, and find themselves back in prison. Most often the only effort being made to reform prisoners is done by volunteer Christian workers who go to the prisons and share the gospel with them. In some prisons and jails they aren’t made welcome.

Vast sums of money is being spent in an effort to prop up our society on the verge of collapse because of the irrational behavior of many. Rational thinking, hardworking people are obligated to pay higher and higher taxes to sustain an ever increasing number who are either in prison or on welfare. There has to be a time when the camel’s back will break. Before it does, we need to reform our prisoners and get people off of welfare.

Christianity is the best solution for much of the emotional suffering around us. We as Christians could do a better job of making the solution known, but for most people it isn’t hard to find. Not all churches preach the truth that will give people victory, but many do. It can be heard on the radio and television. The message must be accepted and applied to the life. Where Christianity is practiced there is much less crime, heartache and emotional suffering.

Christianity isn’t practiced just by making an effort to obey its moral precepts. It begins by what is called conversion or a new birth. That takes place when a sinner repents of his sins and asks God to forgive him and make him a child of his. When that is done, he is accepted by God and a transformation begins in his life. That change is explained in II Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Reader, are you struggling with some irrational behavior? It may be lying, profanity, or talking back to your parents or your husband or wife. It may be something more serious like substance abuse, or pornography. Whatever it is, you can be free from it. You are already on the way to victory by the fact that you recognize it as irrational. Victory begins by a change of mind regarding that behavior. Call it what it is. It is inappropriate, it is sin, and it is wicked!

If you aren’t a genuine born again Christian I can’t promise you victory. You see, the power to overcome irrational behavior comes from God. Christians can claim the promises of God such as; “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). Philippians 4:13 has another powerful promise. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Every time you commit an irrational behavior you need to go to God in prayer and confess it as it says in I John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He has promised to forgive you and cleanse you.

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