Breaking Down “the Model,” Part 3: Action and Results
September 23, 2021
The Metanoia Catholic “Model” is the process we use to analyze our mindsets, bring them to the Lord, and find greater freedom. Here we’re going to talk about the last few steps of that model. If you missed the other parts, check out Part 1 and Part 2.
We previously talked about how emotions are the feelings that come from our thoughts. Now let’s take things one step further. Your emotions will either spur you to action or keep you from taking action. In other words, emotions will make you grow either in a virtue or in a vice.
The Catechism tells us that “A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers.” (CCC 1803)
Your thoughts and emotions affect whether you’re ordering your actions toward the good. That means growing in virtue starts with your thoughts and emotions! It also means that getting rid of vice also starts with your thoughts and emotions.
Of course, God gives you the grace to do that. And this is powerful knowledge to have for your spiritual life! When you see how your thoughts, emotions, and actions work together, it’s a game-changer. You’ll understand why you do the things you do, and you’ll know how to pray with God about it.
As an example, let’s continue the scenario from Part 2. Here’s the thought: You think you are stuck in a career and there’s nothing you can do about it. Here’s the emotion: You feel better or resentful toward your co-workers and employer. Now here’s the action: You treat your co-workers rudely and slack off in your work.
Your actions have consequences. Not only do they affect the world around you, they affect your own interior life. Our negative thoughts in particular have a way of coming back to bite us.
For example, if you treat your co-workers badly and you slack off in your work, then of course you won’t get opportunities to advance in your career. So the thought that you are stuck in your job leads you into keeping yourself stuck.
See how a cycle like that can repeat itself? Circumstance, to thought, to emotion, to action, to result — which becomes the new circumstance. How do you break out of it?
The place to start is with your thoughts.
That’s why “The Model” is so useful. It shows us where we go astray (in our thoughts) and how changing our thoughts can change our lives for the better!
TO WRAP IT ALL UP…
When you recognize this pattern of how thoughts lead to actions, you can finally take charge of your interior life and start growing in the virtues that bring true joy and happiness. Most importantly, it opens you up to working with God to receive His graces and live the kind of life He wants for you.
This takes work, but it’s possible! Remember, you have God on your side. And we have some great resources here at Mentoia Catholic to help you too.