Do You Have a “PBR”?

What causes you to really lose it? Think about the situations or circumstances (or dare we say, people) that can make your self-control fly out the window? A wise old man* once explained to me that we are not that complicated. He challenged a group of us to think back over the week and figure out what had caused us to succumb to anger, or temptation, or depression. So I ask you to do the same. Reflect on the past few days, and take note of what your detonation triggers have been?

  • That cookie dough calling from the fridge
  • Your children ignoring the rules of the home, AGAIN
  • Your overflowing calendar and commitments
  • A particular irritant with your husband that makes you crazy

Whichever one made a siren go off in your head, needs a PBR. No, it’s not a new kind of sandwich. PBR stands for a Planned Biblical Response. When you have a recurring stumbling block, search the Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to show you a verse you can memorize that will strengthen you when you start to blow.

Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

I found myself wielding my forked tongue when one of my children (who has a knack for finding all the red buttons on my internal control panel) would disobey me. We were getting into a familiar routine: disobey, erupt, repeat; disobey erupt, repeat. Finally, after sinking into a pit of Poor Pitiful Me, I decided to pick up one of the weapons that God has given to me – the Bible. And since my mushy mommy brain struggles to memorize, I’ve set my PBR verse to a show tune. (Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!) Sing along with me from the tune of “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music: “Doe, a deer, a female deer …,” and at the “Sew, a needle pulling thread” section, use these words:

“So, we fix our eyes not on what’s seen,
But on what on what we cannot see,
Since, what’s seen is temporary,
But what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18”

When my dear child goes to push my button, instead of erupting, I start humming this song to myself. It reminds me NOT to lock and load on the petty, pouty, problems of this very temporary moment. Instead, I re-focus on the high calling of one big sinner (me), leaning on God’s help to guide a smaller sinner (my child) on our shared quest of becoming more like Jesus.

This week, I challenge you to figure out your flash point du jour and ask God to show you a planned biblical response. And, if anyone finds a PBR to resist chocolate chip cookie dough, please let me know!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Mary SuzanneSignatureRGB
*A special thank you to Bill Bryan, Professor Emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary, who taught me about PBRs and how they had transformed his life. God’s word works!