We all know that emotions can, and do, get in the way of making Godly or even good decisions. I can’t see however, where the Bible gives the Christian credit, or allowance, for making decisions based on the influence of emotions. How we interact in our relationships should reflect the relationship we have with Jesus, and this will be reflected in how much we listen to and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
More often than not, whenever I have mentored someone in the past, not surprisingly the need to resolve personal attitudes took priority. Not least the issue of not extending grace to others as God has extended grace to us. This appears to me to be a real problem in the Church and in particular to individuals within the Church.
I have learned that what makes it easy for wrong attitudes to control our behaviour is the part that agenda plays in the attitude we adopt when dealing with others.
Agenda determines attitude.
The story of the woman caught in adultery throws some light on this by showing us the difference between two attitudes built on two different agendas. On one hand we have the attitude of the crowd, and on the other, the attitude of Jesus.
The crowd’s agenda was for the woman to be punished. Jesus’ agenda was for the woman to be changed. The crowd’s attitude was harsh by allowing their agenda to dictate their approach to the woman. Their attitude was closed and it blinded them to their own sin and their own need for forgiveness. Jesus’ attitude was compassionate, loving and open to finding a way to God by his grace. John 8:1-11.
It is so so easy to allow our agendas to dictate our responses, attitudes and approach to others because we are either angry, feel used or want to get even.
Jesus’ response was, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast the first stone’.
The woman was guilty and was deserving of punishment, but if we nurture an agenda of love, forgiveness, recociliation and a desire to see Jesus glorified in how we deal with others our attitudes and approach will follow suit.
Steve Howell: born in Birmingham, (ever so long ago), now in Weston super Mare. Walked with God 46 years.