Northwestern’s Campus Ministry is hosting Professor Jennifer Feenstra’s NED Talk, “Why do I do what I don’t want to do?” on Wednesday Nov. 15.
Feenstra, professor of psychology at NW, is an expert on human behavior, personality and decision making. Drawing from her expertise, Feenstra will discuss the science and Scripture on temptation, and how to stay motivated in what you want to do — not what you don’t.
Feenstra’s seventeen-minute talk will cover the issues associated with straying from the path God has placed you on, falling into temptation (and in doing so not maintaining your goals) and finding guidance from both scientific research and Scripture on this topic.
“Temptation, willpower and behavior change are topics within my field that I know a lot about,” Feenstra said. “The focus of the talk is on temptation — what the Bible says about temptation and what my field of psychology says.”
The NED Talk will primarily focus on situations where Christians find themselves straying from their walk with God or what they wish to accomplish in life.
“We so often find ourselves doing what we don’t want to do and not doing what we do want to do,” Feenstra said. “I’ll discuss why this is and what we can do to make it more likely we’ll do the good things we want to do.”
Feenstra’s topic of discussion revolves around passages found in Romans. A big focus is on Romans 7:19 which states, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.”
An important aspect of Feenstra’s talk involves connecting research with Scripture.
“I hope students will see how scientific research and Scripture can be integrated,” Feenstra said. During her talk, Feenstra hopes to correlate Scripture with what she knows to be true in her field of study and scientific fact about human behavior.
“The book of Romans also talks a lot about human behavior, so integrating the two for a talk made a lot of sense,” Feenstra said.
She hopes that integrating the two topics will be beneficial for the students as the discussion takes place.
Feenstra hopes that following the NED Talk, students will be able to apply her advice, research and interpretation of Scripture in order to skillfully avoid temptation and find willpower in the Lord.
“I hope students will walk away with some strategies that help them do what they want to do and not do what they don’t want to do,” Feenstra said.
Professor Feenstra’s NED Talk will take place at 10:05 a.m. in the Vogel Community Room.