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Christians Are Proactive: Part II
Bible study on behavior.

A proactive person acts in advance to deal with an expected difficulty (American Heritage Dictionary). He bases choices on values and principles, rather than desires, feelings, circumstances, conditions, and environment.

Although proactive choices can be made according to feelings, they are compatible with our values. On the other hand, reactive choices are based only on feelings whereby we often sacrifice our values because of our feelings.

Review: Part I
In Part I of this series, we noticed that God commands Christians to be prepared and ready. Therefore, we must be proactive in our approach to life. God promises that we'll always have a choice in regards to sin (1 Cor. 10:13). It's our job to proactively think through temptation, rather than react based on feelings that could lead to sin.

Commitment Required To Be Proactive
Jesus tells us the commitment we must possess to be His disciples. He says, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. . . . So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Lk. 14:26-33).

As proactive individuals, prepared and ready to face whatever may come our way, our affections are aimed toward Christ and serving him. Anything less will result in reactive behavior aimed at satisfying fleshly desires.

Commitment: Love God
In a nutshell, our commitment is to love God more than anything or anyone else, even ourselves. We love God with all out heart, soul, strength and mind (Lk. 10:27). Therefore we love the truth, which is God's word (2 Th. 2:10; Jn. 17:17).

"Love" (agape) is a mental commitment. Because agape does not involve feelings and emotions, it requires a proactive life, making decisions based on values rather than feelings.

Tempted By Persecution and Lust
All Christians will suffer persecution. Paul said, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecutions" (2 Tim. 3:12). When enduring persecution, we're tempted to be reactive rather than proactive -- we're tempted to make decisions based on feelings, to remove the sorrow and shame associated with persecution.

Furthermore, we're tempted by our own lusts (strong desires to sin).

Lust is a feeling. When we're tempted by lusts, we are tempted by sinful feelings. The only cure is to remove our feelings and emotions from the decision making process, and proactively use our minds to choose the way of escape God provides (1 Cor. 10:13).

Equipped With God's Word
God equips us with His word to deal with every situation we'll face. Paul tells us, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

As proactive individuals, we think through every situation that confronts us, using God's word rather than feelings and emotions to make decisions, knowing the answer to every problem we'll face is in the Bible that equips us for every good work.

Proactively Walk In The Light
Throughout the Bible, "light" represents holiness and "darkness" represents sin, "light" represents eternal life and "darkness" represents eternal damnation.

Christians walk in the light and are saved. John says, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7).

To walk in the light, we proactively make decisions based on values taught in God's word, rather than walking according to human emotions and feelings. Walking in the Light, we are saved, and we're illuminating the path to heaven for others in the world.

Parents Teach Children To Be Proactive
To bring our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord, we must teach them to act in advance to deal with problems, basing their decisions on principles from God's word rather than feelings and emotions.

For example, we teach children to overcome peer pressure by proactively thinking through temptation and obeying God, rather than sinfully reacting according to their feelings and emotions.

Proactively acting in advance, a young person avoids many situations where peer pressure exists. And when confronted with pressure to sin, he's already decided what he'll do and say -- he carries out his predetermined plan and does not sin.

Summary: Think And Plan Ahead
God commands Christians to be prepared and ready. Therefore, we must be proactive in our approach to life.

As proactive people, we base our choices on the values and principles in the Bible, rather than desires, feelings, circumstances, conditions, and environment.

We can do this because our affections are aimed toward Christ and serving him, loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, equipped with God's word to deal with every temptation and trial, as we walk in the Light.