Even some of the least valued relationships can have an immense effect on how we navigate our lifestyles. Do you value your relationships; how do you estimate their value and what diminishes the value of that relationship for you? We tend to give the quality of time and energies to those people we naturally like and are attracted to, but is that God's way? Matthew 5:46.
Is giving to gain really giving?
Is loving in order to be loved really loving?
When it comes to the renewed mind the importance of good, reliable information, and the ability to process it, is absolute to Godly outcomes. If Satan is going to encourage Christians to fall into his agendas he is certainly going to warp, twist, and influence the quality of information we use to manage our lives. The quality of information and the ability to test and approve it according to Romans 12:2, is critical to the development of a transformed life and knowing God's will for it. Information is the DNA of our thoughts, without information we have no thoughts, but, as Christians, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth and help us sift the validity of the information we use to decide our subsequent actions. Without the Spirit's input, we would typically rely on our emotions to decipher information for us and then they would decide what our response should be. Emotions are useful to help us gauge our initial assessment of a situation or experience, but they are poor judges of truth and should never be part of our decision-making processes. I have found the more emotional a Christian is, the less they can operate in the spiritual realm. The less they can operate in the spiritual realm the further away from a renewed mind and transformed life they'll be. More importantly, they'll be in a position where it will be very difficult for them to know God's will for their lives. Romans 12:1-2.
We all know that emotions can get in the way of making Godly or even good decisions. How we interact in our relationships should reflect the relationship we have with Jesus, and this will be reflected by how much we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal him to us.
More often than not, whenever I have mentored someone in the past, not surprisingly the need to resolve personal attitudes towards forgiveness has taken priority. Not least the issue of not extending grace to others as God has extended grace to us. This appears to me to be a significant problem in the Church.
I have learned, that what makes it easy for wrong attitudes to control our behaviour is the part that agenda plays in the attitude we adopt when dealing with others.
Agenda determines attitude.
The story of the woman caught in adultery throws some light on this by showing us the difference between two attitudes built on two different agendas.
On one hand we have the attitude of the crowd, and on the other, the attitude of Jesus.
The crowd’s agenda was punishment for the woman. Jesus’ agenda, was for the woman to be forgiven and allow grace to change her heart. The crowd’s attitude, was harsh, seeking their own kind of judgement. Their attitude was closed, and it blinded them to their own sin and their own need for forgiveness. Jesus’ attitude was compassionate, loving, and open to finding a way to God by his grace. John 8:1-11.
It is so so easy to allow our agendas to dictate our responses, attitudes and approach to others because we are either angry, feel used or want to get even.
Jesus’ response was, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast the first stone’.
The woman was guilty, and was deserving of punishment, but if we nurture an agenda of love, forgiveness, reconciliation and a desire to see Jesus glorified in how we deal with others our attitudes and approach will follow suit.