“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” – Carl Beuchner
Wow this is so true! When I think back on all the lectures I’ve attended and preaches I’ve listened to, the ones that stick out aren’t the slickest ones or the most profound (although these are great!), the ones I remember are when something stirred in me. When people are able to engage us on a spiritual and/or emotional level, it leaves an imprint in our lives that long outlasts the latest intellectual or theological ‘revelation’.
Certainly we should not order our lives around our emotions, but neither should we neglect them. Western society in general and particularly some streams of reformed theology have cast a disapproving light on the emotions of man. They are almost seen as a yet-to-be-redeemed element of humanity. They are often unpredictable and lead us to do irrational things. Being led without reason is wrong, no doubt, but being led by reason alone is equally wrong. God has made us to be physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional beings.
So, when we engage with others, perhaps rather than trying to convince them of our sound logic or impeccable reasoning, we should engage them on a deeper level. This is a narrow road and can easily lead to manipulation and propaganda, but, nevertheless, the need to engage people on a deeper level than simply the intellect is ever-present. Subject to abuse -yes. But necessary for effective Christian living – also yes.