Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 11 - Feelings Are Important

If you’ve ever seen the television show "Two and a Half Men", you know that Charlie Harper is a guy with problems. Charlie prides himself on his care-free lifestyle, living in an expensive Malibu beach house, drinking, smoking, gambling, and womanizing without any concern for the consequences or the people he hurts along the way. On TV, we call this comedy because Charlie takes it to a ridiculous extreme. But I’m sure we’ve all known someone whose concern for their own feelings at the expense of others was anything but funny.

How we control our feelings has a very real impact on our relationships. If we let our emotions and feelings control us, it will be very difficult to keep the three New Testament Commandments that we’ve discussed over the last week and a half. How can you love your neighbor as yourself when you are only concerned with your own feelings? Equally important, we cannot deny our feelings and portray ourselves as emotionless and uncaring. In Chapter 11, Tom reminds us that Jesus felt the same emotions we all have: anger (money changers in the temple), compassion (healing the sick), distress (waiting for the betrayal and His imminent crucifixion), and sadness (death of Lazarus). But Jesus used his emotions in ways that provided an opportunity to reach people and connect with them and He acted on them in a loving way. He didn’t just have compassion for the sick, He healed them. He didn’t just weep at the loss of Lazarus, He brought Lazarus out of the tomb. He didn’t complain about the people desecrating the temple, He chased them out. And most importantly, He didn’t call down a host of angles when they placed him on that cross. No, He suffered and died for you and for me.

Day 12 - Act Immediately, Act Radically

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