Thursday, April 14, 2011

Before You Reach the Flashpoint (pt. 1)

Ever seen the show "Flashpoint" about a SWAT team? Well, I have, and let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE that show. It lacks profanity (which is great.... there are many other words out there anyway) and it's straight to the point. It's not too dramatic, yet it never forgets to let you in on the team members' lives!

Can I say it's a great show? That about sums it all up.

Now, did you know that in life, there is a particular "FlashPoint" that we all reach?

That one moment when everything is visible. No more hiding.

We are all on our own SWAT teams fighting the battle within our minds. How can we ever win?

How can we keep our eyes on Jesus and not turn away?

How can we control our emotions....

Before they reach the scorpio moment?

What is the flashpoint? How far is too far?

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."

So, can you see the flashpoint? I sure can. Really, you decide where the flashpoint is. But, to save yourself from bad habits and total embarrassment, guilt, and depression and such, I'd stop it even before it reaches your words. But I would say that the flashpoint is your actions.

So let's take some time to rewind.

What the???
Ever used that expression? I'm not surprised. Honestly, I have too. Now, let's talk about the thinking concept of this. So, let's say some guy walks home from school in a bunny hat. I've seriously seen it happen. Your almost automatic response in your brain is "What the heck?" But that can always turn into something bigger.

Profanity is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for teenagers, adults, and rarely even kids across the country in the 21st century. It's starts with tiny, barely noticeable words and leads up to big, total beep-out words. Now, what's the problem with that? Well, last I checked, ALL cuss words were blocked out, not just huge ones. (You know what I mean.) Now, apparently, there are exceptions, and it's getting to the point where it's like "Did he cuss?" "I don't know..." It's sad.

It starts as a thought. A simple "What the heck" turns into a "What the?" and then gets to the actual word. Only in your mind, of course. For now. Tiny "exceptions" lead up to the bigger things. The beep-out words. And before you know it, you're addicted to it, and there's just no turning back.

He said WHAT???
Welcome to level 2. We're a step closer to the flashpoint, and as I said earlier, you're already there. Next step is gossip. We've already mentioned profanity and already know how it works.

So you're just trying to get through the day, and it's already not so fun. It's a Sunday. Does that answer it? 7 a.m. mornings? Enough said. So, you go downstairs just so you can get your cup of coffee and get to church on time. That's all you want. So, these really popular girls (This is not targeted towards ANYONE I know. And there shouldn't be any popular girls at church, but sadly, there are) are talking and you decide to sort of slip into the conversation. It started as a simple convo about  guys who were in Youth Sunday School who talked a lot, were disrespectful, and blah blah blah you know what it is. Then, it rises up to things worse and worse and use your imagination for that. And then, somehow you've been thinking these things about them secretly, too, and then blah blah blah you join in and VOILA! You've made the conversation explode and it's pure gossip.

You know you've done it. I have... many times. And now I do feel bad about it, but the reason that I sometimes gossip (I'm not a gossip girl.... we all do it, you know? You know, like in 'Never Say Never' by The Fray where it says "Some things we don't talk about, would rather do without..." We are ashamed to talk about it, but we know we all do it) is because there is a small pleasure in the moment of letting all that anger with that person out and hopefully, no one tells them that you said that about them.

But the problem with that is you're telling someone a problem you have with someone else... so why don't you say it to their face? Maybe because it sounds ten times more hurtful and rude when you don't have to worry about proper etiquette and being nice. You have to admit... gossiping [in the moment] feels good at the time, because you can just forget being nice to them and say what you really feel with no 'if's', 'ands' or 'buts'. If sin didn't bring pleasure in the moment, we wouldn't do it.

"We're looking for some action!"
But not this kind of action. So, we've talked about profanity and gossip. Now, let's talk about an action that applies to all of us.

So, let's go through the three levels, but talking about this.

Level 1: You didn't study all night. No problem, you are a master at English, so you have no problem with tests and quizzes. Then, when you sit in that hot seat, the answers fall out of your mind. "Maybe if I drop my pencil, look at Kelley's paper for three seconds while I slowly bend down, I'll see the answer. I'm sure it's right---- wait, no. What am I thinking?"
Level 2: Ten minutes, the page is still blank. You mouth to Kelley, "Hey, can I see page one?" They disagree, so you can't cheat.
Level 3: Last resort. Pencil? Drop.

Cheating is something we've all done in some sort of way. The diagram ^^^ABOVE^^^ sorta explains that. Sometimes, words become actions in just one day.

"I'm a love addict..."
^^^Gotta love that song^^^ Anyway, this one, level 4, is about drugs.

So maybe (This doesn't apply to everyone, not even me) you've done drugs once or twice. Most likely, it doesn't stay that way. Drugs are addictive, and once you use them, it's hard to stop. This starts as an action and ends as a habit. Sometimes, they even reach the level of your destiny. Not a bright future, huh?

That's why they teach you to stay away from it and it's horrific dangers. But drugs is more than a substance or cost of your life. It questions your strength, and so much more. How far will you go for something? How far will you reach to save your life?

The thought that counts
Ever been in a sticky situation? Well, maybe you can relate to level 5. Lying... is it worth your character?

We all do it. Mainly white lies, and we tell one nearly every day. When someone ask if the outfit makes their butt look big, we say "no," even if it does. Or like on that GEICO commercial... "Perhaps a little". But, is it your character?

Okay, I'm going to make this sound like I don't know anyone like this...

They used to be your best friend. You used to do everything with them. You were there at huge points in their life. Then, it all came crashing down when you believed them and you investigated and discovered that it was a lie. You forgave them and were let down again. And again. And when you thought it was impossible, you were let down.... AGAIN. They exaggerated everything. They took five words and turned it into a chapter. You can barely hear the truth. You don't even know if they know the truth anymore, or why they're even lying in the first place. You don't remember a time anymore when they were honest.

Conclusion: Character Into Destiny

So, will this ever be you? Are you willing to fight? Take a stand? Or will you let yourself be put down by what this world "has to offer"? Profanity, (be honest... it's happened) gossip, cheating of any kind, drugs, and lying are sucking more people in moment by moment. Except for drugs, we've all done it, and we know it's bad by heart--- you don't have to be a Christian to know that.

But is it getting to close to scorpio? (At the end of the video, the man pulling the trigger means represents "scorpio", which I don't know if it's real or not but the team leader says scorpio when the criminal has gone too far and then, the instructed member shoots.) We've all come close to the flash point--- some are even already there. But, we can reverse.

This post was WAY to long, so I'll talk more about this topic, possibly on Saturday.

Are you a tad bit too close to the flash point? Are you already gone?

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