Thursday, December 3, 2015

Normalcy Bias by Garris Elkins

When people experience disaster or trauma unprepared and suffer a dire consequence, many times that mindset was created by something called Normalcy Bias. People who experience this bias believe that because something has never happened to them it will never happen.  They live in the illusion of their bias and once a disaster or traumatic event takes place they face the dilemma unprepared. As you trace the history of people who have come under the influence of Normalcy Bias you will see they failed to interpret the warning signs because of an overly optimistic view of life.  This bias is a form of optimism masquerading as faith. In the end, people living under this bias will put themselves and their loved ones in a greater place of jeopardy.

When Paul was trying to help Timothy deal with the pressures of his life and ministry he told Timothy, “be prepared in season and out of season”. He went on to say, “keep your head in all situations”. Paul’s instruction to Timothy resembles what a Disaster Preparedness instructor would say to a group of people wanting to learn how to deal with disaster.

We are living in a time of significant cultural change and increasing threat levels.  In these times, if we are not spiritually prepared, we can become like a person who naively hides under a small desk during an active shooter incident hoping bad things will pass them by. We can deny the realities of life, both in the Spirit and in the natural realm, and allow our bias to determine our preparation. Instead of victors we become victims.

Today, I hear an appeal from the Spirit for the Church to come back and rediscover the basics our faith. These basics are things like the truth of scripture, fellowship, confession and repentance and choosing to live a life of transparency. In times of high spiritual stress and rapid cultural change those who remain close to the basics of their faith have a greater chance of walking out alive. These basics become our survival skills when nothing is making sense - when a marriage fails or a dream becomes a living nightmare. In these times our only bias should be a bias toward the goodness of God in all seasons of life. The basics of faith and a belief in a good God will keep you anchored to what is sure and safe in a world where nothing seems sure or safe anymore.

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