- Relational Wisdom | Ken Sande | Biblical Emotional Intelligence | Peacemaking | Institute Christian Conciliation | Reconciliation - https://rw360.org -

Do a 180

Headache [1]Sin-tainted emotions often provide helpful navigation points … and excellent opportunities to practice the six core skills of relational wisdom [2].

When you realize that you are feeling anger, bitterness, jealousy, contempt, or any other negative or distressing emotion, ask yourself two questions.

First, “Is this emotion pleasing to God and consistent with his character and will?”

If the answer is “probably not,” ask yourself the second question: “In what direction is this emotion seeking to move me?”

Once you’ve clearly identified the direction that you are inclined to go, the best course of action will often be to “do a 180,” that is, to do exactly the opposite of what you feel like doing.

Radical stuff. Crazy in the eyes of the world. Exactly the opposite of what we feel like doing. But precisely the course that God calls us to walk as his image bearers:

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same…. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).

This kind of unworldly behavior requires you to exercise all six disciplines of relational wisdom [2]:

Doing a 180 is of course inappropriate in situations involving abuse or danger of serious harm, when we should instead follow our protective instincts and seek help from God-ordained authorities (Matt. 18:15-20; Rom. 13:1-7).

But when emotions are churning during the normal disappointments and trials of life, doing the opposite of what you feel like doing–without expecting any benefit in return–can put you on a course that imitates God’s mercy and grace to you (Eph. 5:1-2), and gives you the best chance of preserving a relationship you might otherwise loose.

– Ken Sande

Reflection Questions:

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2013 Ken Sande

Get this from a friend? Subscribe now! [3]

Share this post
[4] [5] [6]