And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”Mark 7:20-23
Often, when we lack spiritual understanding and emotional intelligence, we will find ourselves lashing out at people because we are triggered by something we saw or heard. And in many cases, because we are on social media, we are triggered by something someone else posted. But God is trying to bring us into a place where we can properly discern and self-evaluate instead of being triggered emotionally by what we hear and see.
The Bible tells us, “it is not what goes in a man that defiles him, but what comes out of a man that defiles him.” You cannot control what other people say or do, but you have full control over your own reaction and response. The last thing God wants you to do is defile yourself, trying to have a fruitful conversation with an unfruitful person. Proverbs 9:8 says, do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
In this season of our lives, God is challenging us to rise above a carnal mindset that reacts to flesh wounds. But instead, God wants us takes a moment to self- evaluate the spiritual root of why we feel triggered.
In many cases, if we took the moment to properly process our feelings, we would come to find that God is working on our patience and personality. And many of the things God brings up, that cause us irritation and discomfort, is His way of addressing an issue. The issue is either we are in the wrong place at the wrong time (outside of his will), or our feelings and carnal thoughts (iniquities) about the matter is getting in the way of what God is trying to do through us. When we are triggered and act at that moment, it causes us to have an emotional reaction, that causes us to have fleshly rants or behaviors. This is why the Bible says, be angry but sin not (Ephesians 4:26).
Philippians 1:27 says, above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
We are being challenged as believers of Christ to walk in self-control and humility. Triggered posts and responses embody the opposite of what Christ was teaching, and put us farther away from experiencing peace and joy within Christ.
Instead of getting upset, we need to ask ourselves is there truth to the comment or post that is causing us to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit? Because if that’s what we are feeling, then that is an indication that we have a problem with God and his word, but because we are triggered, we are lashing out at the vessel who is speaking the truth. Or perhaps, we are in a situation where we need to disassociate ourselves with children of darkness. The Bible says what does light and darkness have in common? Nothing at all. What does good and evil have in common? Nothing at all (2 Corinthians 6:14). 1 Corinthians 15:33 says Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” So that means if you’re triggered by someone who carries that spirit, back up from them and get your peace back. Whatever the situation is, God is challenging you to conduct yourselves in a peaceable manner Remember, no good thing comes from the flesh- Romans 7:18 and it is naturally evil, doing the opposite of the spirit. Stay in the spirit. Do not be triggered, but rather be in control.