In social work school we often talked about affect. I had to look this one up to get the words to describe what it is, but it behooves me to keep it in mind at all times. Basically affect is the external, observable manifestation of emotion so it has everything to do with the way I come across. It can betray me or it can heighten the sensitivity that others have of the emotions that I am displaying.

Recently I was in a conversation with someone where my affect was absolutely critical. He was a bit hyper and, on more than one occasion, used rhetorical devices to get his point across. I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback by his debate/discussion style and felt myself getting a bit riled up. Taking a step back in the midst of the conversation (through envisioning a dispassionate observer taking stock of how we were interacting) I was able to, I think, remain calmer than I would have in the past. I was less concerned about winning the debate than I was to seek understanding - to understand rather than be understood. Maybe that was the wrong approach, but at the very least we were able to preserve that which the Spirit has built in our friendship through any theological differences we may have.

Relationships are hard and Satan will do everything he can to drive a wedge in between those that we are in relationship with. This is especially the case when those relationships are in the church for the love that we show one to another is the very thing that proves the Christ is who he says he is.


  1. Are you the same Mark Dudley from NY that is on the scrapbooking sites???

  2. You mean there is another Mark Dudley somewhere? Poor fella! What scrapbook sites? Hope you enjoyed the blog and thanks for stopping by!


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