Have you ever noticed that often different people experience the exact same situation and respond in completely opposite ways? Some people get cut off in traffic and throw up a finger and get angry, while others are not even annoyed. Some people take offense when slighted and others let it roll off their back. Some people face serious illness and tragedy with a hopeful and positive attitude, while others get crushed and dejected.

We all want to be happy, at peace and contented. Yet only a few people seem to be able to respond to the vagarities of life with a demeanor that matches our desire. It is almost as though we have a tendency to lose control of our reaction when things get tense. I know I certainly want to be in control of my every response. Perhaps the answer to this issue is less about what is happening and more about our preconceived notions and expectations!

In recent years, the integrity of the wine tasting industry and rating system has been called into question. Many researchers have conducted studies and experiments to determine the accuracy and consistency of the wine rating process. The results are fascinating. A researcher from France named Frédéric Brochet postulated that the judges evaluating the quality of a wine were heavily influenced by the presentation and not by the taste. In 2001 he tested the effect of the labels on the bottles. He gave the identical Bordeaux wine to 57 different judges in two bottles with different labels. One label indicated it was a table wine, while the second bottle had a label indicating it was for a fancy vintage. The results were astounding. The results were described as follows:

When tasting a supposedly superior wine, their language was more positive – describing it as complex, balanced, long and woody. When the same wine was presented as plonk, the critics were more likely to use negatives such as weak, light and flat.” (click here for the complete article)

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(This case of wine recently sold for over $42,000 at the Christie’s Auction house!)

Our brains are wired to influence and impact our response to a given stimulus based on the expectations and presuppositions that we bring to each experience.

Romans 8:28 tells us “…we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NASB).

The next time life throws us a curve ball, we need to take a breath, and make sure our expectations and preconceived assumptions are right before we respond. If we start with the assumption that something good can and will come out of each difficult situation, we will definitely be One Grip Higher.

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