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  • Writer's pictureHope Stuart

HOPE in H.A.L.T.

If you read my Satan’s HOPE post, you learned that even Satan has HOPE. Of course, his HOPE represents everything that opposes God’s HOPE. While God wants us to experience peace; depending on Him for ALL our needs… Satan wants us to experience anything but peace. He wants us stressed, depressed, under duress… you get the picture. And… if Satan can’t make you bad, he will do his best to make you busy. Busy worrying finances or the news. Busy with overloaded family schedules. Busy with just… stuff. Stuff that keeps our focus off God and on our trials and troubles.

The average adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day. Of course, some decisions are easy to make with little to no thought and others are more complicated, with long-term implications. While God wants us to make decisions that are based on His wisdom and in His time, Satan would like us to make hasty decisions, without much thought or delay. Often, decisions made in haste result in outcomes that are NOT in alignment with God’s will. That is why God would like us to pray and wait for His answers, while Satan wants us to do the exact opposite.

Satan will capitalize on our weakened (physical, emotional, social, or mental) state to make hasty and ungodly decisions. Enter HOPE with the acronym H.A.L.T. H.A.L.T. is another word for stop or wait… just what God wants us to do before making a decision we will regret. H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Before making an important decision, we need to H.A.L.T. and talk to God. Yes, we need to make sure we are not hungry, angry, lonely, or tired when making important decisions. We need to avoid the aforementioned states of weakness to ensure we are walking in God’s will for our lives.

When we are hungry, our decision-making is compromised. Some even refer to this “empty stomach stupidity syndrome”. The consensus of multiple studies show that hunger significantly alters people’s ability to make decisions because they are more impatient and impulsive. In essence, being hangry is never an option when an important decision is to be made. Hanger will cause you to settle for less and make a decision you will regret once your stomach is full.

Making decisions based on emotion instead of information can not only alter the outcome of the decision, but the speed at which the decision is made. Anger, more specifically, can lead to impatience and rash decision-making. You always want to make decisions based on information, not emotion. Keep in mind, your brain can only process emotion or information, not both at the same time. So, H.A.L.T. and take time to get into a calm state before making any decisions. While hard to do, you will be so glad you did.

Loneliness affects everyone at one point in time and is either an actual state of being alone or a perceived one. We are social beings and need the comfort of others to feel valued and loved. When we feel alone, we tend to make impulsive or emotional decisions that defy logic. Phone a friend, pray to God, connect with a loved one… to fill your emotional bucket before making an emotional decision that defies data and logic.

We have reached the end of H.A.L.T. with T for tiredness. Decision fatigue is a real state, resulting in the difficulty to make objective decisions, impulse buying, and so on. When we start our day, we have a mental capacity based on our sleep the night prior. The more quality of sleep, the more mental capacity we have. That’s why most of us work best on mental work earlier in the day. As the day wanes, so does our ability to make the best decisions. It is best to H.A.L.T. and wait until your brain is rested before making a hasty decision that lacks Godly wisdom. A decision based on H.A.L.T. with a bunch of HOPE.

Regardless of whether you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, you should always go to God for His wisdom. Spending time with God will ensure you employ the wait time needed to hear His guidance (God-dance) before making an impulsive, emotional-based decision you may regret in the future. Give H.A.L.T. a go. Let God be your guide… before you decide!

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