Monday: 6th May, 2019

Reference text: Acts 6:8-15

Acts 6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

I recall a social experiment designed to gauge how the emotional state of those around can rub on others. The setting was of a service delivery which was intentionally delayed and two groups were set up in different rooms with actors planted within each. While actor was jittery and anxious, eventually bursting out in anger at the delay, the actor in the second group had a calm and reassuring demeanour. Outcome: the participants in each group mirrored the attitude of their lead actor.

Charismatic leaders often take advantage of the emotional state of people as well as their innate desires to respond to a just cause as a means to garner support. This approach is characterised by an ability to ‘stir up the hearts of others’ as we see in the Acts of the Apostles today.

Even though some things do not always end up as we may want, every stirring up is done with the intention of eliciting a particular response. Therefore, on a long list which can contain either Love, hate, anger, peace, respect or approval, amongst a host of other things ; when a person’s heart is stirred in a particular way, varying degrees of these different emotions can be churned out.

So I ask ‘what do you stir up in others?’
With your words and with your actions, how are the people around you affected at an emotional level? Maybe you have not paid attention yet, so now may be the time to take a step back and review. Bear in mind that ‘you are capable of igniting a fire in others after stirring them up, so be careful what you stir up.’


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