14/09/2022 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
Emotions. Feelings can tie us up in knots, can overwhelm us, or can leave us feeling empty. As humans, we are made up of body, soul, and spirit as the Bible teaches us. Dr. Sigmund Freud might say we are made up of mind, body, and emotions. It’s funny, but even the secular world describes human beings in triune qualities, just as God does in His Holy Word.
Like it or not, we are emotional beings. We “feel” the world around us and interact with it through feelings. I’m not proposing we are totally emotional, or without logic. These two play a balancing act inside of us dependent on the situation and our reaction to it. Personally, I describe myself as a logic-driven individual, but tears come to my eyes every time I hear taps played. The simple melody has a way of opening the flood gates of emotions because of what it stands for. Military funerals have a way of bringing out the emotional side of me, as someone who doesn’t like to show tears.
As I just said, logic and emotions play a balancing act. Logic qualitatively and quantitatively evaluates the environment. From this data, we connect to the appropriate emotion and the right amount of it. Sometimes however, logic flies out the window and emotions take completely over, many times to our detriment. Uncontrolled emotions have a way of driving us to say and do things we normally would not.
God created us as emotional beings. Love, empathy, sympathy, caring, sorry, grief, and others are all Godly emotions. Let our minds go to places it shouldn’t, and the emotions which come to the surface are ones like greed, lust, anger, envy, pride and many more. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about emotions, too much to say here.
Jesus showed His emotional side many times. He had empathy for the lepers He healed. He felt sorrow for the blind. Jesus even felt anger, albeit righteous anger toward the tax collectors outside the temple. He cleansed the temple of these crooked businessmen and thieves. I think we could say Jesus even felt a little frustration with His disciples from time to time.
In one instance Jesus even promoted the emotion of grief. Word had gotten to Jesus as He and the disciples were camped on the eastern side of the Jordan River. His friend Lazarus was deathly ill and his sisters needed Jesus there to heal him. Jesus waited for two days after hearing the news. When He finally went to where Lazarus lived, He found his two sisters and others grieving over Lazarus’ death. Jesus didn’t stop them and say, “Don’t cry! Watch this!” Jesus validated their grief by crying with them. He showed them it was okay to cry over their brother, and to show their love through their emotions.
We need to let our emotions show to those around us, especially to those we don’t know. Walk in the spirit, and you will be recognized by your countenance. Show love, receive love, and spread love. After all, God is love!