Unholy emotions… ever have them? Ever find yourself saying, “Where did THAT attitude come from?!” Ever find yourself alarmed that you actually felt an emotion that was not only unholy – it was violent, murderous, jealous, wicked, or just plain vile when you thought about it? Now here’s a revelation… I HAVE! Scary eh?
This morning I read an account in the Bible that left me wondering… Did anyone in those situations even bother to ask the question, “Where did that attitude or emotion come from?” I mean, religious leaders yet… “Pharisees” (scrupulously religious guys) and “scribes” (authoritative interpreters of God’s law) … the kind of people you’d expect to be – how shall we say it – “godly!” (Guess it just goes to show, “religious” and “godly” are NOT synonyms!) Here’s the story from the Bible…
“On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?’ 5 And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.’ (My observation… they had a picky, critical spirit!)
“On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come and stand here.’ And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?’ And after looking around at them all he said to him, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he did so, and his hand was restored! But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.” (Can you imagine it – actually resenting a wonderful act of compassion and healing… Envy and hatred giving birth to a murderous attitude!) (Both accounts from Luke 6:1–11 ESV)
Hey, we can all be guilty… I’ve been guilty! What to do? Well, a “heart transformation” is a good place to start… My prayer? Oh Lord deal with the sinfulness within! Change my heart! And I gotta say, I’m grateful for God’s word! Reading it every day – allowing it to “reformat” my mind and heart – is a reliable safeguard against such emotions. Also the activity of the Holy Spirit within my mind and heart is a safeguard. He often “nudges,” reminds, and convicts me of what displeases the Lord and is contrary to the character of God in my life. I’m also grateful for godly friends and family to which I am accountable and every authentic Spiritual leader who speaks into my life boldly about the will of God. Need it all! Want it all! Don’t you?