Good Morning August 24

How easy it is to be manipulated by emotions. It is what we are watching in the current election cycle. Political candidates rail against illegal immigration, higher taxes, problems with social security and medical care. Vilifying other candidates is also good for a vote or two. The problem with emotional responses is that the tend to block clear thinking, and working out the rational and hard solutions to problems that may require sacrifices. Look at the current fiasco in Greece. Emotions are fine. God gave them to us, and they have their place, but they are not to direct the course of life. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”(2:3-4) Emotional responses are concerned with what is good for me, and for my group. It narrows our focus to what we think is good, but denies the possibility of making hard choices that may require suffering, but in the long run bring real good for all. Read the rest of the Philippian passage, vss.5-8, and consider where we would be if Jesus had acted on emotion rather than the truth of God’s purpose for mankind. “Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.”(I Peter 4:7) Maybe there are some lessons in here as we listen to the current rhetoric.

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