Monday, March 18, 2013

Do your emotions control you?

This morning let's talk about emotions and the power they have over our lives. Emotions can be a best friend or they can become a worst enemy. I do not want to get clinical as I discuss emotions, but speak about emotions as an everyday Joe who has dealt with emotions for the better part of five decades.

Could you imagine what life would be like without emotions? Life would certainly be gray, dark and dull don't you think?. I think of our creator creating us in His image, and any theology student worth his grain would give a hearty amen to the reality that our emotions are part of being created in God's image.

The Scriptures are replete with descriptions that show God displaying emotion: God is "grieved" at the pervasive evil of mankind, yet "pleased" with Noah's faithfulness. After the flood, God is "pleased" by Noah's burnt offering. The New Testament book of Hebrews notes that "... we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses."

Of course anyone who is at all familiar with the Gospel's would see that our Savior showed emotions as He wept, became angry, and had compassion. However, when ascribing emotions to God we must keep in mind that God is sovereign, that  He is holy and He is God. God's emotions must be understood in the context of his immutability (un-changeableness), and his being completely self-sufficient. God's emotions can't be understood from a human view point mainly because our emotions are stained and touched by the curse of the fall.

As we go a little further into an understanding of our emotions it is absolutely necessary for us to understand that we are fallen and live in a fallen world. One of the dangers that people make with their emotions is they allow their emotions to control them----our emotions should not control us neither should they be denied. We must find a healthy balance between control and acceptance. The opposite of being controlled by our emotions would be the suppression of our emotions---there are those who turn off the emotions switch and stuff their emotions way down deep; and do all they can from allowing them to come up for air.

We should all do an emotional inventory check from time to time. If you feel close and connected with "others" in your life good chance is that you are emotionally balanced and healthy, if on the other hand you are disconnected and not in relationship with "others" you are  probably not in good emotional health.

We must all take ownership for our own "feelings," we must take full responsibility for how we feel. If you are experiencing anger, take ownership of your anger and discover where your anger is pointing you and deal with the situation. Good starting point is bringing your anger to God's throne and seek the help of the Holy Spirit, still further seek out a friend, counselor, or someone you trust and talk out you emotion.

This may sound foreign to some but even if depression comes by to pay a visit from time to time, stop and ask yourself what you can learn from this deep penetrating emotion. What needs to be changed in your life?---some times it can be as simple as the need to get out for a good 3-4 mile walk, sometimes we need to change the way we fuel our bodies, sometimes we may have to confess sin in our lives, or maybe just stop the merry-go-round and take a break.

Best friend or worst enemy? Well it depends on us, are you willing to take ownership and responsibility for you emotions? Your emotions can only be your worst enemy only if you allow them to control you.

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