The longer I live in Christ, the more I realize that there are less and less coincidences and more and more ‘God-incidences.’ This Saturday, while visiting with family that was shopping for a new couch, I found myself wandering through a large furniture store filled with countless living room or dining room displays. While allowing the couple to make their decision, I found myself picking up one of the ‘props,’ a slightly water-damaged 1949 copy of Andrew Salter’s Conditioned Reflex Therapy. Social norms moved me to put it down after 40 pages of reading and my photographing of pages containing helpful quotes and bibliographic information. I am currently awaiting the copy I ordered to arrive. Suffice it to say that God has the uncanny ability to bless us and to spiritually enrich our lives even in furniture stores.
Salter provided the first significant professional opposition to Freud’s psychoanalysis therapy model as well as the undergirding for what would two decades later be referred to as ‘Behavior Modification Therapy.’ He made use of Pavlov’s ‘salivating dog’ studies on ‘excitation’ and showed how the repeated ringing of the bell without any food appearing would reverse the excitement and replace it with ‘inhibition.’ His proposal involved a model to excite individuals toward good behavior, thus transforming their inhibitions in a process he termed ‘disinhibition.’
I could not read it without thinking of ‘training up a child in the way he ought to go.’ Too often we strive to punish bad behavior when we could have been much more productive striving to excite children toward good and holy behavior. People who seek –find. Those who keep hungering and thirsting –keep on being filled. Consequently, we would do well to develop a thirst for righteousness for our own lives and then to attempt to encourage others to do the same.
But I have questions: What excites you? Does Jesus absolutely amaze you? What are you doing to make sure that your study of Christ does not become mundane? When you tell others of our awesome Savior and see little or no response on their part, how do you keep from being ‘inhibited?’ How can our ‘shaking the dust from our feet’ serve to protect our excitement? How does our prayer-time continue to excite us when God has repeatedly answered our requests with “No,” “Later” or a seemingly deafening silence?
Maybe I’ve been asking for the wrong things. “Lord, fill my heart with an all-encompassing awe for You that will undergird a sustained and increasing devotion. May I never lose sight of the fact that you rightfully dwell in unapproachable light, but have graciously allowed us into your presence. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You –Amen.”
Because He lives,