Triggered: an emotional/psychological reaction caused by something that somehow relates to an upsetting time or happening in someone’s life, often when someone gets offended, gets their feelings hurt or people with strong victimization.
There are lots of things that trigger us. Just say the words “I love Donald Trump” in a crowded restaurant and you will see what I mean. Heck, maybe you get triggered because other people get triggered.
We are most likely to be triggered when we are afraid. Think of triggered as the “flight or fight” response. It starts with adrenaline and cortisol. Our breathing becomes rapid and our hearts beat faster. This is when we begin to sweat and our eyes dilate to broaden our field of vision. The effects of fear on the mind are a little harder to discern, but they are very real. Our mind becomes singularly focused. We can only see the threat. All of our brain power is directed toward one thing, relief. How do we get out of this, fast! Unfortunately, that often leads to poor decisions.
It’s easy to see in hindsight. My reactions and responses when I am triggered are less than Godly. Fear eliminates my big picture view. Thankfully, there is a better way. Consider Daniel. King Nebechadnezer’s men came in, ready to kill him. Yet, Daniel did not respond in fear. In the moment, he was given power. Not super human strength or mystical pwers like we expect, no, Daniel was given the power of peace. How do we know? Daniel 2:14 says that “Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” Do you know what that means? It means that he was not overcome with fear. He did not respond with adrenaline, rapid breathing, sweating and a narrow focus. Instead, he was broadly focused. He immediately saw the bigger picture.
What is it that separates Daniel from the rest of us? Why do we get triggered and he gets peace? The answer is simple. Daniel first set his heart upon God, then he allowed his mind to be governed by the Holy Spirit, and finally, he submitted his will.