Skip to main content

We need balance

 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-10)

As I read this passage again this morning, my eye caught that phrase to 'use your head and test your feelings'. I guess I never really saw that before, or maybe I just needed to see it this morning. Using your head means you actually think before you act or say something. As I was prayerful on my walk this morning, the idea of how much division is all around us in this world right now kept coming to mind. Division in the government; between churches; and even between those we used to call friends. Why? Masks, vaccines, political parties, governmental policies, and the list goes on. We have found hundreds of things to be entirely divisive over these days and to be totally truthful here - most of what we are quibbling over isn't going to matter when we stand before Christ. Use your head - think things through - what will it take for you and I to become peace-makers in this divided world?

The answer is two-fold: 1) we spend some time gaining the perspective of the other person (using our heads); and 2) we test our feelings (not just responding to every one that emerges). Using our heads means there is 'cognition' involved in our responses, while testing our feelings indicates that there is indeed an emotional response to everything we think or hear. Lots of people would say using your head is the most important lesson here because it will lead to more 'tangible' or consistent results. I agree somewhat, but I also believe if we don't balance our 'head' with our 'heart' we will live with all kinds of regret in this world. The older generation would say we are to use our heads more because of the reliability factor we attain when we do. The younger generation may be more inclined to follow their hearts because they have been taught to do so by societal norms. 

Balance is needed - we cannot just use our heads and ignore our emotions. We cannot rely upon how we are 'feeling' in the moment and totally dismiss the sensibilities only our brains can truly comprehend. We need both - think because you care - care enough about others to really think before you act or react. When we do this, we live in such a way so as to see bountiful fruits produced from the soul. Soul = mind, will, and emotions. What we may need more of today is balance - so fruits are born out of our thinking and our feeling. Trust between friends, neighbors, and countrymen isn't rebuilt without both being in action. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,