Monday, October 31, 2011
Discussion Guidelines #4
...see previous posts on "Guidelines"
6. Will each person speak for himself or herself or will we speak for others such as “they,” “them,” “everybody,” and for God as well?
How many times have you heard, “A lot of people are upset;” “Several are unhappy with the preacher”? When asked for names, the reply often is, “Well I can’t tell you who they are, but there’s a bunch.” I like to have the guideline, I’ll speak for me, you speak for you, and let God speak for God.
Unless you have been elected to the House of Representatives or the Senate, you do not have permission to represent anyone in this group except yourself. I don’t know who the “several” are. I don’t know how many are in a “bunch.” I would be interested in knowing what you think. I will value what you say.
7. Will we have a right to all our feelings: the painful as well as the pleasant?
Some people are convinced that there are good feeling and bad feelings. I think there are pleasant feeling and painful feelings. But it is my understanding that all our emotions are given to us by God and are good for us. I need to be responsible how I act on my emotions, but they are all helpful. I usually mention the four “feeling groups”: mad, sad, glad, scared.
We can be sad. We have tissues. If Jesus can cry (John 11:35), I can cry. We can be scared and talk about that. We have a right to be angry. Jesus was angry (Mark 3:5). Therefore, it must not be sinful. Paul said to be angry and not sin (Ephesians 4:26). You have a right to be angry. You have a right to be angry with me. You can talk about being angry with me. However, you do not have a right to hit me or tear up the furniture. There is a difference in what we feel and what we do with out feelings. We can be glad and laugh. There is a qualification on that which is included in the next guideline.
...to be continued...