How did we become such emotionally driven people? If you’re not careful with your emotions, you can become a slave to them; addicted even, to a place where life’s decisions can’t be made without being led by emotion. They will easily become your master, with you only following where your emotions lead. The Word of God teaches us that one bloom of the fruit of the spirit that we possess, should be one of self-control. If emotions subtly become your master… your fruit will die with the loss of self control.
Emotions lead to rash, poor, judgements and decisions. Great leaders cannot lead by emotion. Disciples of Christ are all called to be leaders. You…were called to be a leader. You may not be a leader of nations, churches, organizations, etc, but you are to lead others to Jesus. And you cannot do this effectively, if your emotions lead you. Christ interestingly addresses this in 5th Chapter of the book of Matthew, verses 38-40. We are commanded that if someone strikes us on one cheek, turn the other to him/her also. This is more than just a lesson on forgiveness; Jesus presents to us as the offended, the stressed, the attacked, the oppressed, etc… the opportunity to lead. Notice in the first part of verse 39, Jesus says, “Do not resist the evil person…” Who are the evil persons He is speaking of? Just the wicked & possessed? No, rather those that simply are hurting because of an absence or a void in their life that is not occupied by Christ. Those that are not in relationship with Him or even those that have forgotten that relationship with Him. He’s giving you the chance to lead…..the opportunity to lead them to Him! You get a chance to be Jesus to the broken! Watch this…
It’s a fact that hurting people, hurt people. Why are they attacking you? Why are they striking you, oppressing you, stressing you? Because of the emptiness & the hurt they are experiencing & you possess something that they do not recognize, yet long to have…the fulfillment of Christ. Yet those that operate out of emotion become reactionary type people & Christ shows us, in this situation, that leaders, self-controlled, Spirit-led people are to respond, not react.
See, reactionary people fight back, because you’re driven by emotion. Somebody crosses your game, you’re ready to throw down! Emotionally driven people react to pain with pain; you react to a fist with a fist; you react to yelling with yelling; and in the process you do more damage than what was already done. You’ve broken any chance of restoring a relationship & you’ve killed your opportunity to lead. When Christ was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter reacted out of emotion, with a sword & removed the ear of a soldier. Christ rebuked him, & healed the soldier’s ear. Peter reacted out emotion, Christ responded out of love. One brought more pain to an already painful situation, the other brought healing & salvation. At that moment…that soldier believed.
If we go back to verse 39, Christ teaches us, even in messed up situations, not to push away the hurting, but rather to embrace them. Our reactions kill people, but our responses give life. He said, “when you’re struck on one cheek, turn and give them the other…” In other words, don’t react and swing back, rather respond with patience, love, compassion, forgiveness, & peace. Lead them to Jesus, by being Jesus to them. When they swing like the devil, you respond with Jesus. Who wins?
Which person are you? What kind of leader are you? Reactions are happening all around you….creating the world of chaos that we live in. If you’ll take a minute to notice those around you…you’ll see the hurting, the emotional, the lost…but much more you’ll see the opportunity. I’m interested in being a world changer, but it seems an impossible task in that perspective, until you realize that your world are the ones right next to you. You can change that world, one response at a time. Don’t be the first to react to the situations around you, be the first to respond. Great leaders respond.