Posted by: Andrew | February 4, 2011

Being passionate, getting it wrong?

I was at a meeting the other day where tempers got frayed (mine included). We were discussing mission strategy and Biblical models of ministry. All fairly innocuous sounding stuff, but we disagreed – strongly – on how to use and interpret the Biblical material we were looking at. For all of us this stuff matters. We are all passionate about evangelism and because we believe the Bible is the Word of God want to base our ministries on that. But when passions rise it’s easy to stop listening, defend positions and just go for the attack. None of which sits easily with the kind of dialogue I promote and engage with when working with Muslims.

Reflecting on the meeting I’ve wondered whether I got it wrong, and whether others got it wrong? How does passion relate to anger and how do we argue passionately without people interpreting that as us just losing our temper? I’m not sure I’ve got any answers yet, but it feels like an unsatisfactory way to conduct a meeting.

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Responses

  1. Communication can be rather messy…But it takes us having the courage of our convictions for us to be willing to face the opposition, the conflict, endure the confrontation, and come out on the other side with a plan or a new understanding!

    Acts 11:2 (King James Version)

    2And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,

    Jude 1:3 (King James Version)

    3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    Apparently it comes with the territory!

    God Bless!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I didn’t realise anyone was reading this as I’ve only just started blogging and hadn’t told anyone about the site. SO thanks for reading it and taking the effort to post a comment.

    I agree with you that at times we have to face opposition and argue our case. What I was trying to reflect on is what happens when our passions spills over into potentially unhelpful anger where we express our opinions unthoughtfully.


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