Would You Respond Like This?


Photo by oprah.com
As a psychology and sociology major in college, I studied a lot on human behavior, not only on an individual basis but also on a societal level. It is interesting to note that many of our behaviors are shaped by the things surrounding us, whether it is for the good or the bad.

One fascinating aspect of human behavior is our ability to express varying emotions in different situations. It is extraordinary how God designed our bodies. We are able to communicate with people with just our facial muscles. Non-verbal communication makes up a good portion of our interaction with people. Therefore, we can tell a lot about a person or what is going on in their hearts just by watching their reactions to different situations.

Recently, in one of my sermon, I showed a portion of the Oprah Winfrey show. Since this is the last year of her show, she has been generously giving various prizes to her studio audience. In this particular show, she announced that the audience would be going to Australia with her and John Travolta. When I saw this clip, I was just shocked at the reactions of the people in the audience. There was a lot of jumping, screaming, tears, shouts of joy and people just left speechless.

Please watch a brief clip of the show below. Please be sure to notice the people’s reactions, particularly their facial reactions. If you want to see the original clip of her show, then click here.

As I watched this video clip, it made me think about 2 things:

1) Emotions reveal what we value. It is amazing to meet and even hear about all the haters in the Church (and outside of the Church) who would criticize people who get “too emotional” in church. I think from this video we can conclude that the main issue should be asking the “why” question – “why are the people reacting that way?” If you had no idea of what was going on, then you would probably conclude that they were “crazy” for acting very “emotional” (did you see that one woman who was crying). But the free trip to Australia revealed their experience of grace – getting a free trip to Australia out of the generosity of Oprah’s heart when they did not deserve it, which caused them to react with such joy. We all value grace and when we experience it, we respond emotionally. Another way to look at this is to see what movies made you cry. There is probably something about that character that you identified with. They probably experienced something (unconditional love, forgiveness, courage, sacrifice, etc) in the movie that you value and long for. This is what makes a movie powerful and emotionally-driven.

2) Emotions help us to see the state of our heart. My wife will tell you that there are a lot of times when I do things half-heartedly. Even with things that are important such as our date nights or even the chores. Now, I know that I can blame my tiredness or even my busyness, but ultimately it comes down to my heart and how I perceive things. When I redirect my focus and priorities, I begin to see how important these things are. As you watched the Oprah video, I want to challenge you with a question – “when was the last time you experienced this kind of joy and excitement when someone receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?” Can you imagine if we had this kind of celebration because God is exalted and His Kingdom is expanded? Maybe we are not experiencing this kind of joy because we have not been sharing the Gospel. There are times when God needs to resuscitate our hearts so that we can see and feel what is important to Him.

I challenge you to watch the above video again, but this time with the context of Oprah announcing that someone came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Oh how sweet the celebration will be when the vision of the Book of Revelation becomes a reality. But guess what? We don’t have to wait until then, we can experience it every single day. We just need to re-orient our values and priorities.

Spiritual ENTREPRENEUR, Church EQUIPPER, Leadership EDUCATOR, Ideas EXPERIMENTER & Global EXPLORER who is trying to transform lives and transform the world.
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