After the 2nd Presidential Debate I heard a guy say he thought maybe the candidates had an agenda. "I think these guys are selling something."
Well, duh. No kidding. They’re trying to get millions of Americans to vote them into the office of the President. Of course they have an agenda!
And they're not the only ones. Everyone has an agenda. It's just that some agendas are better than others and if you don't understand someone's ultimate goal (which could be their prosperity instead of yours) you could be blindsided by the consequences of supporting an agenda you didn't understand.
- Beware. The agenda of a person promising reward without risk includes something other than the prize you want.
- Beware. The person offering success without sacrifice has an agenda, and it's not your success.
- Beware. Someone offering a paycheck without work wants you around for reasons other than those outlined in your agreement. (What do they want from you? Eye-candy? Access to someone you know? Your indebtedness and obligation to them? Your dependency on them?)
Everyone has an agenda: Teachers, Preachers, Politicians, Coaches, Parents, Kids, Muslims, Christians, Drug Dealers, Prostitutes, Pundits, Doctors and Lawyers. Some of their agendas are spoken. Some are hidden, but everyone has an agenda.
If you think people are trying to change you, it’s because they are. If you think they're selling something, it's because they are. They’re trying to get you to change your mind, or behavior, or attitude. They want you to do better and be better. They want you to do less (unless they want you to do more). They think you should give them what they want. Their agenda is for you to visit them, serve them, help them, encourage them, amuse them. Sometimes their agenda is for you to sleep with them. They believe you should change your investment strategy. They think you should get drunk with them. They think you should buy their products, watch their kids, fund their birth-control, obey their rules and feed their dog when they’re on vacation.
Agendas aren’t necessarily bad; they just are.
Even if your agenda is to be unbiased and objective, it’s still an agenda. Even if your agenda is to relax without an agenda; it's still an agenda.
We don't live in neutral space; there are forces at work we know not of. We must recognize that fact and act accordingly.
A good question is, "Where do other people's agendas overlap yours?"
Can you cooperate and support each other as you take steps towards the fulfillment of your shared dreams? It may seem you have nothing in common, but if you both want the same ultimate outcomes, your disagreements can shift from a debate about "what I ultimately want," to "how I'll try to get what I ultimately want." The likelihood of productive collaboration increases when all parties are striving for equal results.
And in all matters, the underlying agenda of Christ's followers is love.
You’ve heard it said, “Love with an agenda isn’t really love at all.” Ridiculous! Nothing could be farther from the truth. Real love always has an agenda! Don't forget; Jesus had an agenda. He "came to seek and save the lost" (LK 19).
1st Corinthians 13 says, “ Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” In other words, the scriptures make love’s agenda undeniably clear - and the passage goes on to promise, “Love never fails.”
The next time you hear someone say, “I don’t have a dog in this hunt,” don’t believe them. Their agenda is to gain your trust. In fact, the reason they’re saying that is because they think you believe they do have something invested in your decisions and – as amazing as this seems – they’re trying to get you to change what you believe by telling you they don’t care if you change what you believe (and if they actually are trustworthy, you've nothing to worry about).
So, what’s your agenda? Is it grounded in love?
If your aspirations are realized, and your agenda is fulfilled, what will change? If the people you support get their way (because you help them succeed with their agenda) what will happen?
Everyone has an agenda. What's yours?
Psalm 88:2 - God! Put me on your salvation agenda!