Idea #83 — The 24-Hour Rule

From YOUthwork, page 140 . . .

The volleyball coach from our large high school said it well when speaking to a group of charged-up parents. “Don’t talk to me after a game about how much time your daughter got to play. Give yourself twenty-four hours and then call me.”

Emotions are a strange deal. They come and they go. They can be lighter than air or heavier than cement. Sometimes intoxicating, at other times devastating. Yet there is one thing that’s consistent about them. They are not trustworthy.

At our church, we abide by a twenty-four-hour rule, which goes like this — you get twenty-four hours after being attacked to let your emotions expend themselves. But after that, you must take up a towel and wash feet.

Why does this help? Because it acknowledges the reality of emotions while not allowing them to drive behavior. If a nasty letter crosses my desk, I don’t even fight it. I know I’ll get defensive. I know I will scheme, manipulate, fight, shift blame, and so on. I also know that within twenty-four hours I will move toward that person with a redemptive plan.

That’s what brings the kingdom of God into the brotherhood of believers. Is there any greater privilege than that?