I am not a hugger. Never have been, probably never will be. Not big on affection. Don’t get me wrong. I love my wife and children dearly but I am not into the huggy, huggy, kissy, kissy stuff. My mum is, my sister is. Every time you see them (which isn’t too often these days, the live in W.A. I live in Victoria) they give you a kiss. And it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.
Any way back to ‘our actions follow our affections’. I was at Belgrave South Baptist Church a few weeks back and the guest speaker was Paul Colman. Before he had to speak was looking for a seat in the congregation an came to sit next to me. I put out my hand to greet him and Paul (a hugger) said ‘Give us a hug’. Again the old feeling of uncomfortable came upon me, but I never let on, I like Paul, he’s a good guy. I gave some thought to it later and began looking in the Bible to see what it says about hugging. What I found was the verse above, where Paul suggests the way we should greet each other is with an embrace (a hug), a special affection usually reserved for family members or formal greetings.
I then went on to look at the subject of Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life’.
Our heart – feelings of love and desire dictate to a large degree how we live, because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to concentrate on the things that keep us on the right path, push us in the right direction. We all put personal boundaries around ourselves and keep them guarded. In recovery we need to let down our guard and allow others to get close to us. We need to learn to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Which may mean letting others hug us now and again as an expression of their affection towards us and to God.