Feelings & Emotions
How do you think we are should feel as Christians?
Many of us have the image of a smiling, happy Christian, ever joyful, peaceful and content. But we have realized that we cannot live up to this stereotype very well and though we might appear to be OK to others, inside we may be roiling in a sea of emotions that are taking us away from where we really should be.
As Christians we try to keep our feelings in check though we can fail miserably. There are lots of times when our feelings overtake us and we start acting out in ways that offend and hurt others.
We all know people who live by their emotions. This may seem like a freeing way to live, but a lot of the times they are paying personally for the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions.
Well let’s start off by saying, OUR FEELINGS ARE GOOD.
They are given to us by God and reveal where our hearts stand in the relation to the world around us. Our feelings reveal our inner self. They help us communicate with others and navigate through this life. Some feelings propel us forward to live and participate in the world, while others stop us in our tracks, pulling us back and isolating us. They also reveal things in our heart that need to be nurtured and things that need to be dealt with.
Our feelings fluctuate with each varying situation. Each day brings a new wave of unexpected feelings that we must deal with. Tensions with a boss can make us anxious and insecure. A disagreement with someone can make us frustrated and angry. Thoughts of a past love can make us somber and depressed.
Besides these daily feelings, there are long-term past feelings and emotions that have scarred us in not-so-good ways.
A broken heart can affect us for years and even decades even though we think we are over it. Family resentments can prevent us from healing those relationships that need to be healed. Many long term pains can affect how we deal with life in the now and can sabotage our future.
If we don't deal with our feelings today, we will have to deal with them tomorrow.
And despite the feelings of joy that comes from love and friendship, so many of us hold onto the feelings of fear, making us afraid to open our hearts. We only love cautiously and selectively.
As Christians, how we deal with our feelings is really what matters. Good feelings are never the problem. Trouble comes when we empower the bad ones and let go of the good ones.
Feelings of anger, hate, rage, jealousy, revenge, fear, sadness, self-pity, pain, lust, envy, jealousy, rejection, etc....these are the emotions that are destructive to our souls.
We want to protect ourselves from future painful emotions, but holding tightly to bad feelings only creates a permanent resident for them.
People who cannot bear conflicting feelings may act out with destructive behavior. Those who succumb to anger may lash out at the people around them. Many who fall into the abyss of sadness, can lead themselves to depression, substance abuse, sex without love or even suicide.
And many who are overwhelmed can withdraw and cut off their feelings becoming numb and callous. They have decided to stop feeling anything.
Many gay, lesbian and transgender Christians have endured years of inner turmoil when other Christians told us that we had to deny our sexual feelings for our Christian convictions. By denying ourselves, we only repressed our feelings and it manifested in ways that may not have been honest or healthy. It is only after many years that some of us have come to accept our feelings and reconciled ourselves with our faith, but not without a cost to our spirit.
We must understand that our feelings are a very important aspect of our spiritual journey and must be handled with care. And though we may not be strong enough to tackle the storm of feelings raging in our souls, we must learn to foster the good and let go of the bad, but not by ourselves, but through the Holy Spirit.
We must give our hearts to Jesus.
But how can we determine which feelings are good or bad and which ones we should act on? You will know if they ring true with Jesus' commandments to Love God and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matthew 22:36-40
Feelings of compassion can lead us to bless others. Feelings of anger can lead us to forgiveness. Feelings of guilt can lead us to repentence.
But no matter what emotions we are struggling with, Jesus can lift us up and bring us peace.He is there and will help us overcome anything that is hurting us. He knows everything and will always be beside us, especially during those times when we feel alone, confused, scared or downcast.
The amazing thing about Jesus is that no matter how we are feeling, we can call on His name and He will come to us. It is through our partnership with Him that we can deal with each of our emotions, learn from them and receive His peace to heal our wounds and calm our souls.
Give Him your feelings, give Him your heart and He will take you in His arms.
He is great that way.
"These things I have spoken onto you that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
- John 16:33
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me." - John 14:1
© 2018 Edrick
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