I overheard a conversation today where the person was describing a situation in which they were “being triggered” by someone 😡. They responded by getting in a fight and are now going through a lot of consequences of their actions. As they sat there explaining their current situation and all of the things they are going through as a result of this one incident, I thought about “being triggered.”
There are a lot of things that people do or say to us simply to get a response from us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to a negative or instigating comment with one of our own.
I’m guilty. I’ve done it.
But it’s not something we “have to do.” The girl describing the situation made it seem like she had no other choice but to fight back (and, consequently, get the police called on her).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
One of the things I want my kids to understand is that they do not have to “get triggered” by what someone else says or does. Someone else’s negative actions or words do not have to start a spiraling effect where one responds aggressively because they are “triggered.” In fact, the Bible teaches the opposite. The Bible says that a gentle answer turns away anger. We don’t have to respond the way we selfishly want to respond.
My kids need to learn that they can respond with self-control even though the rest of the world says they ought to be triggered or respond either violently or at least confrontationally. A fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and self-control. If we, as God’s children, could just respond to those “triggering incidents” with gentleness and self-control, we would live much better lives and reflect God’s glory to those around us.
This is what I want my kids (and me) to learn, remember, and practice.