Take full responsibility for your own emotional being and destiny.

Notice how Jesus presences himself when instructing the disciples about his betrayal [Mark 14:18-25]. You don’t see him coming apart at the seams, an emotional wreck, begging Judas to reconsider. Instead, he uses the impending calamity to instruct them about fidelity, sacrifice, and the cost of discipleship.

At his arrest, Jesus is fully in control of his emotions and reactions. He does not personalize Judas’ betrayal: “Oh Judas, how could you?” He doesn’t negotiate: “Hey fellas, what if I agree to stop teaching in the Temple—would that be OK with you?” Nor does he play the victim: “Doggone it, you guys. If you’d just stayed awake and prayed like I asked you, none of this would’ve happened!” [Mark 14:43-50]

Brought before the Sanhedrin [Mark 14:53-64], Jesus does not tantrum, collapse in an ocean of tears, call down fire, or even expose his accusers’ hypocrisy. The only response recorded by Mark is Jesus’ unmistakably clear admission that yes, he is the Christ, and that they will one day see him sitting at the Father’s right hand.

This is not to say that Jesus was emotionally repressed. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. [Isaiah 53:3] He sweat blood the night before his crucifixion. [Luke 22:44] What is critical to note is that Jesus did not make his emotions anyone else’s responsibility.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

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