There are specific appetites in your life that you must own or they will own you—then ruin you. Whenever you find one of these appetites heightened, watch out.
I came across an acronym years ago that best reveal those appetites: H.A.L.T. I have since added a letter: H.A.L.T.S. It’s with these five appetites you are at risk of ruining your life.
When you are…
Ever notice how irritable you become when you haven’t eaten? This points to a deeper reality. Your human appetites in general. Not just your physical appetite, but relational, emotional, sexual. If these appetites become consuming, and fed impulsively or secretly, self-destruction lurks.
Anger will cause you to say, email, post, comment, and do things you regret. Also, anger fantasies can lead to anger realities. Unresolved anger is especially dangerous. Anger is one of the strongest footholds in one’s life. Beware of seething about someone or something. Soon you’ll begin to boil—then boil over. Beware of your temper. Bit by bit, or even with a single outburst, you can ruin your life.
You can be in a relationship, or in a crowd, and yet be lonely. No-one likes to be lonely… or bored. We feel the need to be constantly entertained or stimulated. At the same time, when you get lonely, you can get desperate. Then you are primed to be seduced by offers of affection, attention, or escape. Those seductions that satisfy you for moments can cost you for a lifetime.
Oddly enough, when I’m fatigued I crave sugar. Not only does fatigue fester unusual cravings for the physical appetite but the other appetites too. In addition, fatigue clouds your thinking and emotions. An issue that typically registers a “3” on your frustration/anger scale, is now a “9.” When fatigued, your reality is not fully “reality” any more. But the temptation will be to react to it as such. Plain and simple, when tired you want relief. And rest is usually the last option. Regrettably, many don’t stop with sugar but move into chemicals, substances, and other easy escapes. And ruin is knocking at the door.
When life is good, pride can creep in. A sense of entitlement can root. Temptations increase in opportunity and intensity. You can also hold onto that success with clinched-fist. And tend to “pound” whatever/whoever threatens that success. There’s also the drive to be successful. You cheat your health, your marriage, your family, while telling yourself once you get to a certain level you’ll focus on what matters. That appetite will never be satisfied, friend. You’re deceiving yourself into ruin.
What’s the remedy to H.A.L.T.S.?
Knowing yourself well. Knowing your bents. Being disciplined and self-controlled by keeping what truly matters before you—your faith, integrity, family, self-respect, reputation, and those who consider you their role-model.
Some practical actions you can take:
– Address issues and people to resolve your anger immediately (before the day ends!).
– Get therapy.
– Eat a big meal with friends and family you love.
– Go to bed earlier, or take a nap, or find inner-“rest” through faith, prayer, meditation, gratitude.
– Define for yourself true success regardless of how others view you.
– Be grateful, even for the challenges.
– When fatigued, remind yourself that your reality may be skewed. And restrain yourself.
– Don’t cheat what and/or who matters in order to be successful. Ultimately, that’s failure.
– Suffer well.
– Be successful well.
Finally, keep in mind that the pain you go through with controlling H.A.L.T.S. in your life will never compare to the pain you’ll experience for having caved into them.
Choose your pain wisely.
Anything else you’d add? Do tell.
So brilliantly stated, and as a grateful recipient of your sermons also, thank you!
One personal addendum, read Isaiah 40, the whole chapter! Puts everything in its rightful perspective.
PS-I learned HALT from Dr. Charles Stanley, my personal/spiritual main man, and I say that with the upmost respect and regard. YOUR addition put the ! in it.
As a self professed OCD person or preferably an English teacher, I apologize for a misspelled word (which I know you caught) and the wrong preposition! HA.