What’s Your Firing Order?

I attended a Core Dynamics mini conference earlier this year and these words were presented…

THINK. ACT. FEEL.

And the question… What is your firing order in the midst of conflict? I see it in two scenarios…

Feel – Act – Think (F.A.T.): You feel first; act based on your emotions and then think about how you maybe should have responded… often ending in regret.

Think – Act – Feel (T.A.F): You think first about how your actions will make you feel, then act based on logic and deal with your feelings last.

So, I seem to get into trouble at the grocery store. I can’t understand it; really, I’m perfectly polite and kind to others. I try to keep my kids and myself in line as much as possible. But, alas, I tend to get into something ugly.

For example, there was the time when my son was just months old and he cried and cried in the check-out lane. The woman behind me became highly annoyed with him and actually yelled at me to… “Shut that kid up!”

Yes. She. Did.

And my firing order was a big ole F.A.T. I was speechless at first. Flabbergasted describes it best. Completely embarrassed. And offended beyond belief. But, then I said some stuff. I didn’t cuss, but it wasn’t pretty. Something about her obviously not having any children… and she followed me out to the parking lot screaming obscenities.

Not my finest moment… I “thought” on the way home.

Then there was another time when I had the beautiful chance to shop alone. I love grocery shopping alone. It’s freedom to peruse and thoughtfully consider each of my purchases. Love. It.

So, I was doing just that and I confess I was taking up slightly more aisle space than my cart and I needed when round the corner comes a large, rather scary man barreling towards me with his cart. Before I even knew what was happening he rammed my cart as hard as he could while at the same time screaming “MOVE.”

Yes. He. Did.

Well, this time I was only slightly more thoughtful first. Actually, truthfully, my feelings sort of shoved my thoughts right out of the way. And then I went to find him.

Yes. I. Did.

Walked right up to him and sweetly said, “I am so sorry I got in your way. It seems you’ve had a very bad day. I hope it gets better from here.”

That didn’t go over very well. I’m pretty sure God covered my ears because I really don’t remember what he said, but an on-looker ran for help and the man was 86’d from the store and told to never return.

So, what’s my firing order? I don’t know. It changes depending on the circumstances. But, my desire is to T.A.F. no matter what conflict I face. Thinking first allows the Holy Spirit to lead me into the right action. And I know I will always “feel” better afterwards knowing I responded in a godly way.

I am completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to give me a continual dose of Galatians 5:16… “I say then, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

What about you? What’s your firing order… please make me feel better by sharing your finest moment unleashed!

While I am being funny about this today the F.A.T. method has caused me some really hard lessons too. You can read about that here and it continues here. The good news is even when we’re wrong God uses it to make us right again.

Today I’m linking up with Shanda for On Your Heart Tuesday and Jen at Finding Heaven

 

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15 Responses

09.13.11

I’m so sorry but, rest assured, we all have those moments. I’m afraid my looks say more than my words could. I try to work on those looks but they get out sometimes when I am just plain FAT!
Shanda recently posted..I’ve Been Chosen!My Profile

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09.13.11

Oh, Heidi, I can so relate to turning into a completely different person in the grocery store. They often bring out the worst in me! I need to learn to respond correctly and with grace when confronted with these situations. Thanks for challenge.
Eileen recently posted..From Fear to PraiseMy Profile

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09.13.11

While I am a very quiet person, I have been in the F.A.T. category before. I want to always be in the T.A.F. group. I want to think, and pray, before I respond. Great encouragement Heidi!
Jenifer recently posted..Stick And Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Also HurtMy Profile

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09.13.11

Your grocery store stories are funny bc I can so picture you and your face in horror as someone acts crazy!:) We all have to be a little crazy to go to the store, esecially Wal-Mart! I have a story..I was at the store a couple of years ago, my blood sugar went low, and I passed out after paying for the groceries. When I came to the bag boy was stuffing a milky way and a coke in my mouth!:))) Yikes… Neadless to say I woke up..haha

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09.13.11

Too Funny!! And I thought it was just me….. I usually am not so quick to respond because my brain is tired by the time I get there. This kind of thing happened to me at the Costco gas station last Friday – and i didn’t behave well.

It is a fact, Nevada grocery goers are way ruder than other parts of the country, so it makes it more challenging for us to keep our cool!

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09.13.11

I love the way you tell these stories. 😉 I have to say that my grocery store experiences have been rather tame. But it can be a different story at home. In my house I’ve been known to use the FAT method too often. But God . . . love those words. But God is doing a work in my heart and I’m learning to think first. Love this reminder, Heidi.
Lisa recently posted..Self-PropelledMy Profile

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09.13.11

Thanks for being transparent Heidi! Yep….I’ve gone ATF and FAT too often! Trying to learn to live by Philippians 4:5…
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Can I quote you in future trainings!? HA! 🙂

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09.13.11

I understand and know the feeling it’s everywhere in stores how people act and you do your best to be kind. I know the last time something like this happen to me and my husband we went to dinner and the waitress totally ignored me I mean totally ignored me she turned her head away and never looked at me she even brought the food I order came back wrong. I was so upset that I got up from the table went to the front and asked to speak with a manager. I told the manger I did not appreciate how she behaved and I no longer need her services and requested an new waiter. Of course the manager gave us a new server and manager discounted our bill. I have to say had this woman done this before I accepted the Lord I would of told her what I really thought. Now I do my best not to speak words that does not lift a person so my husband laughed at me because he rather let things go instead of making that person aware of what they done..I on the other hand can’t let that rest, if you treated me wrong I am going to let you know, but do it a good way..other wise they walk away feeling they’ve done nothing wrong…
Desiray recently posted..The Door of HospitalityMy Profile

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09.13.11

Oh, yes, I do think I’m a F.A.T kind of person. I love this acronym — it is easy to remember that instead of FAT, I want to be ATF. I imagine I’ll “feel” much better about myself if I practice this way!
Jen recently posted..Yes, This is Me & Soli Deo Gloria PartyMy Profile

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09.13.11

This is such wisdom, Heidi. I have responded wrong so many times. Once to a saleswoman presenting her fragrance, grapefruit, and I wrinkled my nose and responded “I don’t think so.” I so regret acting out like that because when I pass a grapefruit tree, the smell is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!
Mary recently posted..Truimph Through StormsMy Profile

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Wow Heidi… My grocery store trips seem absolutely tame in comparison. LOL

I do however find it an amazing people-watching experience as there’s a fascinating cross-section of the populous represented each time I go. I have had confrontations with unruly individuals over the years, and have certainly not always maintained a Godly perspective but like all of us are, I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Have a Blessed Day!
Phil D. Malmstrom recently posted..Hypocritical WorshipMy Profile

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09.13.11

Heidi – interesting that we used the same verse today. (Well, it has to be the Holy Spirit). I smiling as I read your post because when I began my series on the fruit of the Spirit, I told of a story that happened to me at Wal-Mart. (I first wrote about patience, and for once in my life, I was patient at the checkout.) Well, that didn’t happen two weeks ago – same Wal-Mart. When I told my husband what I said, he couldn’t believe it. Like you, I didn’t curse, but the employees knew all to well that I was displeased they didn’t have enough help at the checkout line. The sad thing was that day I wasn’t gentle, kind, patient, loving, self-controlled…you get the picture.

I plan to write about that experience when I cover self-control. (It will be in a few weeks because I’m currently posting a Bible topic from A-Z, with a few variations.)

Sorry to be so long winded, but I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the visit today!
Joan recently posted..FaithfulnessMy Profile

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We must shop at the same stores because I’m pretty sure I’ve run into the same people! Love this post, Heidi and how it reminds us to keep our thoughts and hearts focused on Chrsit.
Shannon Milholland recently posted..Day 8 of Prayer Guide – Confidence for Your SoulMy Profile

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My husband always comments about the people that are blocking the lane in the grocery store. I always smile and say, “You know that would be me, right?” He smiles back.

Fondly,
Glenda
Glenda Childers recently posted..What to do if you discover you have cancer . . . join the Firm Chicks ClubMy Profile

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09.13.11

I am a F.A.T most times, I think. Unless it involes my kids…then I probably am a A.T.F! I pray that I’ll think before I do anything or turn the other cheek at least!

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