Made for Feedback

Science is once again catching-up to Scripture concerning human beings and how we thrive.

According to Thomas Goetz, writing in Wired (July, 2011), people can improve their behavior in a wide range of areas when they are given immediate feedback via technology ("Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops").

Consider those traffic monitors that post the speed limit and then tell you how fast you're going. If you're above the limit, what do you do? Most of us slow down.

Now scientists and engineers are considering ways of bringing hi-tech sensors into a great many areas of our lives, not to monitor or control us but to provide immediate feedback concerning such things as how much water or electricity we use, whether we've taken our meds, or if we're brushing our teeth or playing with our pet as much as we should.

Coupled with a points system and some online gaming, these sensors can help people become more consistent and more efficient, so that they actually choose better behaviors and, in effect, become better persons.

People respond to feedback telling them how they're doing. And, if they have a sense of how they're actually doing relates to how they could or should be doing, they can make adjustments accordingly.

This is true - as scientists, engineers, inventors, and marketers are discovering - in many areas of everyday behavior. We just seem "wired" to respond to feedback and improve.

But this is also true in our spiritual lives, which is why God gives us His Spirit to convict us of sin - where we've fallen short - and righteousness - the goal toward which we strive - and judgment - the importance of making changes ourselves before God steps in (Heb. 12.3-11).

Responding to everyday material feedback and changing superficial behaviors may be important. But it is much more important that we learn to listen for the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit, renew our walk according to God's Word, and take up our journey on the path of righteousness as the Spirit leads.

Are you getting the feedback you need in order to thrive in your walk with the Lord?

Additional related texts: John 16.8-11; Psalm139.23, 24; 1 John1.8-10

A conversation starter: "Are you getting the kind of feedback about your spiritual life that can help you to thrive before the Lord?"

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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