The Five-Second Rule
How long does it take for you to talk yourself out of doing something? You know the moment. It is when the intelligent part of you sneaks a thought past the praetorian guard of feelings and for a moment the neurons in your brain begin to rev up for this brilliant plan. Only to suddenly grind to a halt because of the nagging tug of your feelings. You know you should read your Bible, but you do not feel like it. You know you should speak to the person at the gas station about God, but you do not feel like it. You know you should not indulge in that conversation or movie or whatever it may be, but your feelings reign.
One motivational speaker has said you only have five seconds to whisk any good intention from the jaws of feelings and put it into action. She believes based on brain studies and habit forming observations, from the moment of epiphany to follow through you only have five seconds. God knows how frail we are and he knows that we are easily distracted. Through Moses, God tells the people of Israel they needed to immediately confirm the laws of God once they entered the Promised Land. “And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 27:2). He did not give them a week to get their house organized. He did not allow them time to do any sightseeing so they could rave about the beautiful land flowing with milk and honey. God’s instruction to them was, upon the day you enter the land you will confirm this covenant as a nation.
In our lives, we have the same complexities as the children of Israel. We can easily be derailed by our feelings. The life currents guide our vessel into the doldrums from time to time and we are held back by our feelings. However, if we were to react within the countdown, 5-4-3-2-1, we would be much more likely to respond according to what we know is right instead of how we feel.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).