"Then Jesus … being urged by the Spirit out into the barren wastelands. … where Satan tempted him …"
-- Luke 4:1 (LB)
The acronym "HALT" stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Here's a biblical example of what happens when we act on impulse during these times:
Esau's heritage was for him to be ruler of Israel. However, after a hunting trip he came home starved. His brother had some stew that was tantalizing his olfactory senses and tempting his taste buds.
Famished, he convinced himself, "What good is a birthright to a starving man?" So he gave his birthright over to his brother in exchange for a bowl of stew. That was not a smart move. He lost a lot by making this choice.
Moses was leader to the Israelites. Oftentimes, their whining and complaining would get on his nerves. One day, in a moment of anger, Moses lost his temper and disobeyed God's instructions. As a result, Moses lost the privilege to enter the promised land, which was something he had been working toward for years.
King David was strolling along his rooftop one sultry night when he caught sight of a beautiful woman bathing. Feeling lonely, David allowed his feelings to sway him to ask the woman to spend the night. In doing so, David committed adultery. He didn't tame his emotions to sin during a time of loneliness.
Tired of waiting for Moses to descend the mountain with a word from God, the Israelites took matters into their own hands. They pitched in their gold jewelry and elected a goldsmith to make them a golden calf to worship instead. This angered God. They ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years due to their rebellious ways.
We can all relate to these examples. In a moment of anger a spouse or parent says words they don't mean, bringing lasting effects on the relationship. A lonely and rejected spouse acts on his or her thoughts of adultery.
How often have we grocery shopped during hunger pangs and overspent because everything tempted our taste buds?
Before making any critical decisions, we should check if we're feeling too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
When emotionally challenged, we're more apt to submit to the devil's temptations. Remembering to "HALT" can help us divert painful consequences.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413. She is available to speak to your group.