Possessing emotions is a wondrous thing because it truly helps us to experience life’s joys and triumphs; conversely through sorrow we can develop compassion and tenderness towards our fellow man. God has created us in his own image with a spirit, soul and body. Jesus wept and felt compassion for the world, and on many occasions experienced joy and fellowship with his disciples. How could one intimately enjoy a sunset or symphony without possessing emotions?
However emotions have their proper role and if they fall out of balance or become distorted they can potentially become very destructive or misleading. For example we certainly need to become sensitive to people’s feelings, this is healthy. However if we become preoccupied with how others feel most of the time then we have the potential to become a people pleaser or develop a self-conscious problem. The apostle Paul said that it was better to please God than man; in this instance he is teaching us not to place people’s opinions above God. This would be misplaced devotion and can certainly cause a strain and unnecessary pressure upon our lives. Now this is not to say that we are going to be perfect in every situation; after all life is a learning experience. Even the Apostle Paul had his problems in relationships as in the separation of Paul and Barnabus (Acts 15:3-16) however later Paul discovered how useful Mark was and repented of his words and behavior. You see we need to learn to recognize when feelings carry us along like a strong tide. The only power that is meant to guide us with this kind of strength is the power of the Holy Ghost and he uses the word of God!
Now please understand that everyone has their own personality with weaknesses and strengths this is what truly makes us unique and beautiful. But it is also essential to appreciate that the Bible was written for our admonition and training in righteousness; it is meant to help us develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11). When we discover that our thoughts are leading to feelings of despair, helplessness, rage, or resentment we must quickly cast them down (2nd Corinthians 10:5). Every thought that rises up against the knowledge of Christ needs to be cast down! Now if it is an ingrained thought pattern or stronghold as the Bible describes it we must learn to recognize its danger and develop the habit of casting it down regularly. It may take some practice and prayer but the reward is eternal!
It is also crucial to realize that God’s spirit is within us and he is the one that can actually live through us in this life! Jesus said that the father did the works through him and that he could not take the credit; this helps us to understand that it is our wonderful heavenly father that empowers and strengthens us to do his will. It is not simply a matter of discipline but instead a matter of having faith in God! He loves you so much and in him we move and have our being!
God has so many wonderful plans for us! He loves us just as we are but he also desires to lead us into wonderful paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. God bless you friend!
By Gordon E. Dawe