When you think about it, emotions are an interesting attribute of our human make-up. And yet, God saw it fit to equip us with these feelings that influence our behavior. Emotions cause us to laugh, cry, yell, and sigh. They produce giggles, sobs, joy, and peace. And if we’re honest, some emotions are attached to sin– and yet God uses the emotion of conviction to get our attention and steer us right.
As I thought about the complexity of emotions, my spirit said, “It’s called living.”
As frustrated as my emotions have made me at times, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to live without them. What would a life without emotion be? The thought immediately makes me think of robots moving through this world on a predestined and controlled path of never-ending monotonies. That, my friend, is not what God has called us to or created us for…
Emotions are God’s design. Paul said his speech and preaching weren’t always with persuasive words of human wisdom, but by demonstration, they stirred “in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them” of the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Amplified). Isn’t that interesting? God used (I love this phrase) “holy emotions” to convince people of His existence, His love, and His power to save. It seems God, in His infinite wisdom and creation, formed us with the capacity to feel so we could DECIDE.
In the God’s Word Translation, one of my favorite scriptures says, “Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Other translations say “minds” instead of emotions, but I like the connection between the two because I rely on this promise that God will guard my heart from being broken (that’s an emotion) and my mind from being troubled (another emotion). Either way, He is my help.
So although emotions can create heartbreak and despair, the same can create enthusiastic joy “unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8)! I guess what I’m trying to convey is that emotions are from God and are a part of our living this God-led life. It’s true that we mustn’t be dominated by negative emotion. Proverbs says it best: “A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them” (29:11). I’ll be honest and say I’ve been a fool at times. But in retrospect (and without excuse), I realize it’s part of our make-up. God has used my emotions to teach me many things. Some emotions (and situations) I never want to live again, but I can honestly say I’m a better person on this side of that learning curve.
And with a new year approaching, my greatest goal is to keep LIVING this life God has created for me. If I cry, I cry. If I laugh, I laugh. Either way, I wouldn’t trade this thing called living for anything else.
I’m praying for you to get a glimpse too of this wonderful aspect of God’s design. May you experience the holy emotion of His love today and every day– and may it guide you to live a full life worth living!