Getting Tough with my Readers

WARNING

This is another unusual “Proverb for Today” post.  If you dare to read past the ***, you will encounter the following:

  1. A Declaration of War 😮
  2. A Bunch of Rules You Have to Obey ❓
  3. Some Scripture ❗
  4. A Tear-Jerker Video for Sappy Emotionalists 🙄

If you skip to the video without reading what I’ve said about you publicly (!!!), then I can’t be held responsible for your behaviour.

***

A Declaration of War

In this post, I have declared war on two deadly enemies, Sappy Emotionalism (SE) and Lazy Brain Syndrome (LBS).  Both are dangerous, as they drain the Christian of true Biblical vitality in his life of service for the Lord.  Both must be purged.

(I knew you would come down this far.  Almost everyone reading this has been hooked, and is going to read it all the way to the end, even when I include obnoxious paragraphs like this one.  If you actually understand how I got you hooked, you have taken major steps towards escaping LBS.  I did it to hopefully edify you, and have some fun while doing so.  Others will do similar things to hook you with much less profitable intent.  LBS really is dangerous.)

Sappy Emotionalism

James 3:14-15 “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”

The word translated “sensual” may be translated “unspiritual” in your version, but this doesn’t really catch the sense of it.  The idea here is of being controlled by “appetite or passion” (Thayer’s Lexicon).

“Sappy Emotionalism” (this is my own term, so I get to define it) is when you pursue emotional highs (and lows) simply for the feeling that you get when your emotions are stirred.  You become addicted to emotional stirrings (by videos, by things you read, by music, whatever), and you become a confirmed SE.  You look at every link (and read every email) your fellow Emotionalist addicts send your way, and you promptly pass them on to your Sappy friends, and to those that you are trying to convert to SE. 😉 They may say “blech” and delete your emails, but you don’t care — you got your high cry.

The best links/emails are the ones that make you cry enough to need a handkerchief.  If you are really addicted, you search YouTube for sappy stuff.  If you are offended by this paragraph and the one preceding, you have it bad. 😛 You know who (and what) you are, and so do your friends and family members.  The Stupid Wordpress “Recommended Tag” Generator (SWaRT-hoG is my name for it) recommended “Genetic Disorders” while I was writing this, but it lies.  You’ve decided to be this way — there is nothing genetic about it.

The cure for Sappy Emotionalism is to think.  Please note that I am not declaring war on emotions.  God gave them, and they are good — but they are tools, weapons to be used in our spiritual warfare.  When emotions come, we need to think about them in terms of Scripture.  God intended them to teach us things about Him, and about ourselves.  What does the Scripture say about these emotions I am feeling?  How does God want me to respond to them?  Am I going to let them control me, or am I going to engage my brain and learn from them — will I use them for His glory, and to strengthen me as a Christian, or will I just enjoy the emotional kick?

Sappy Emotionalism must die.

Lazy Brain Syndrome

My poor kids have heard about this one on more than one or two occasions.  “Lazy Brain Syndrome” is when you don’t want to think about things.  If the answers don’t come easy easily (edit: my wife just declared war on my poor grammar and told me to change that :)), you are toast.  If an original thought doesn’t drop on your head like a 10-ton boulder, you certainly won’t go looking for one.  As we might say in our family, “The answer didn’t fall into your out-stretched hand,” and so you are sure there is none.

If someone asks you to compare and contrast two Bible verses, and think about how they relate to each other, you’ll probably read them both, but you certainly won’t strain any mental muscles trying to look beneath the surface.  You go to church so your pastor can tell you how to apply the Bible’s teaching to your life.  You wouldn’t want to give thought to how to apply it yourself — that’s his job.  Your pastor and the Christian bloggers you read are good at that kind of thing, so “I’ll just let them do it.”  You know that God gave you functional grey cells somewhere within your cranial cavity, but they are sleeping, and you wouldn’t want to disturb them when they need rest so badly.  You have LBS, and your friends think it may be incurable.

The solution to LBS, just like the solution to SE, is to (get this, it’s a novel idea) think.  II Timothy 2:15 wasn’t just written to Timothy, it is there for every believer.  I’m NOT giving you the text for it, I’m fighting LBS right now.  If you don’t know where to find it, use your brain and figure out a way.  (See, I said in the title of this post that I’m getting tough.)

Lazy Brain Syndrome must die.

A Bunch of Rules You Have to Obey

Rules for Reading this Post Beyond This Point

  1. Down near the bottom is a sappy video.  You can’t cheat and watch it yet.  You have to read all the Scriptures first.  After watching the video, you have to go back and look at the Scriptures again.
  2. You have to figure out how at least one of the Scripture passages has application to the video before you leave this post.  I’m not telling you.
  3. Extra points for a Scriptural application using Scriptures other than the ones I’ve cited.
  4. No cheating by looking to see if anyone said anything in the comments until you’ve at least tried to think of one application.  If someone does say something there, and you really did think the same thing, I’ll let you off the hook.
  5. If you cheat, you are a Sappy Emotionalist, a Lazy Brain, or both, and it is probably terminal.  No one will ever know that you cheated, but you will.
  6. Not a rule, but a recommendation.  If you know any SEs or LBs who read this blog, ask them if they cheated.  I know, that’s kind of rotten, but remember, this is a war.

Rules for Linking to This Post

  1. Those of you who are SEs will want to pass around a link to a tear-jerker.  You can’t link to this post until you obey the rules I just gave for reading it.
  2. To link, you have to write a Scriptural application.  It can go in the comments, or in the email/Facebook post in which you give out the link.  It can be short, less than ten words, but you have to do more than just send the link.  It would be better to put it in the comments here than in your email, because if it is in the email/Facebook post, you make it easier for your readers to cheat — they can steal your thought.  But I’ll let you decide.
  3. Exception:  if you always post links with an excerpt and not your own comments, I’ll let you off the hook, but you have to choose an excerpt that isn’t about the sappy video. 🙂
  4. If you cheat, I’ll probably never know.  But if you don’t think before you link, everyone you send it to will know — you cheated.  You didn’t follow the rules.  They’ll read this section, and you will stand condemned as both an SE and an LB.

Some Scripture

Today’s Proverb, with a related one:

Proverbs 29:13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.
Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

Other Scriptures for which I see application to the video:

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Acts 17:26-27 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

II Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Romans 1:14-15 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

A Tear-Jerker Video for Sappy Emotionalists

Here is a Chick-fil-A training video which they use to teach employees to see everyone as an individual.  It will stir your emotions:

Now, go back and think about those Scriptures again.  THINK!  What in those emotions was Biblical?  What truths should we draw from them?  How does God want us to channel those emotions, to turn our thoughts?  We’re fighting (and KILLING) Sappy Emotionalism, and to do that we need to overcome Lazy Brain Syndrome.  “Gird up the loins of your mind” (I Peter 1:13)!  I hope you can come up with applications to most of those verses, not just one or two of them.

If you really must cheat and not think for yourself, start with David Hosaflook’s comments, since I got this video from his blog.  His thoughts are good (and Scriptural), but he didn’t cite any Scripture.  If you use his thoughts, find a Scripture that supports them.

There’s no way out.  You are here, and you can’t leave until you come up with a Scriptural application.  Get your mouse away from that “back” button.  Don’t even think about leaving.

Unless you are a cheater.

Sappy Emotionalism and Lazy Brain Syndrome must die.

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in A Proverb for Today and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Getting Tough with my Readers

  1. TaylorH says:

    Struggling to fight of LBS…I have half of your verses done and one of my own. When I finish I’ll post…assuming LBS does not gain the victory over me.
    -Taylor

  2. Nick says:

    I loved this post! I’m an not an emotional guy, but I noticed that if you just press the mute button, the emotion disappears. 🙂 I think that is another edvidence of the power of music.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Hey, Nick, thanks for the comment. If you like this post your sense of humour is probably as weird as mine!

      Your point about music is well-taken. I used to get annoyed, back when I had a television, at how they would use music to stir particular emotions, and use that to manipulate your response.

      I just watched it with the sound off, though, and found it still impacts me. Perhaps it is because for me it brings back memories of real people going through similar experiences. So while the music is a big factor, I think it shows there are many tools at the disposal of filmmakers, and we really put ourselves in their hands when we watch their work. That’s a quite dangerous thing to do if they are not spiritual people.

      Something to think about — which of course was part of the point of the post. 🙂 So thanks for a thought-provoking comment!

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