Emotions are not bad. God made us with emotions. They enhance our life, tell us what we need, and allow us to navigate the world around us. When we align our emotions with the heart and voice of God, we feel emotions like empathy, compassion, passion, righteous anger, and love, which God can powerfully use as tools to minister to others.
Kris Vallotton puts it like this, ‘emotions make excellent servants and terrible masters’. In other words, your feelings have a place in your life, but they cannot rule your life. What you should do isn’t always what you feel like doing. You don’t always feel like going to the gym, you don’t always feel like speaking with kindness, you don’t always feel like forgiving, but we do the right thing because we know what is good for us. I’m sure Jesus didn’t feel like dying on the cross, but he said, ‘…yet not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42).
Feelings aren’t always truthful. They aren’t always in touch with God’s reality. Thankfully, God also made us with a will to manage our emotions – this is the ability to choose our behaviour, despite how we feel. Don’t let your feelings manage your life, let the word of God manage your life. Ask God to strengthen your will. Managing your emotions means recognizing why you feel what you feel, and bringing it to God for processing.
King David was a very emotional man. He was a musician, so I assume that God made his temperament more of a “feeler” than a “thinker”. You just have to skim through the Psalms to notice his rollercoaster of emotions. I believe God left everything from David’s praises, to his complaints, in scripture so we could see that even as ‘a man after God’s own heart’, he still experienced the weight of heavy feelings.
Becoming emotionally healthy is a God journey. It is a process, and it is a skill. In 1 Samuel 30:6, scripture says, ‘David was greatly distressed because men were talking of stoning him…BUT David found strength in the Lord his God’. This emotional man also leant how to encourage himself in God.
Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ (Matthew 22:37). The soul of your personhood includes your feelings and emotions. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to love God through your emotions today.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
A daily devotion for a better way of living.