Emotions: Friend or Foe?

“Emotions make you cry Sometimes” as sung by 90’s R & B Group, H-Town once said. Our emotions can sometimes take on a life of their own. Emotions are instinctive and intuitive feelings an individual possesses usually determined my one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with other people. Emotions were given to humans by God for the purpose of connecting with the world around us.  Unfortunately, unprincipled living and habitual disobedience to God causes our emotions to be out of control, unaligned from their original purposes.

Unaligned Emotions

For a long time, we’ve been told that Emotions are all bad, and you probably have been told to “Get out of your feelings” a time or two (I sure have). But, emotions in and of themselves are not the problem. Unaligned emotions are! 

Unaligned emotions are untrained and uncontrolled. Feelings that are not filtered by truth are deceptive and destructive. They are not only bad, but they are untrustworthy.

Christ was always meant to be the center of our emotions.  However, when we become unaligned, we will put ourselves at the center of our emotions. We make everything about ourselves. We become overly concerned about what we want, and how we want it, even if it causes detriment to others.  

Scripture teaches us “to walk by the Spirit and you will not carryout the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.” See Galatians 5:16-17.

We Are Emotional Beings

We are creatures of feeling. Our feelings make us more empathetic. Sadly, many have discredited feelings and emotions altogether. Feelings have now become synonymous with weakness, when in fact healthy emotions are a sign of character strength. Truly, our emotions are a gift from God meant to be tools of enrichment. They also help us to connect with those who are hurting, as well as enable us to celebrate with those who are happy. Emotions are meant to be connectors. More importantly, emotions are meant to connect us to GOD, our Creator. Our emotions can either hinder or progress us in our worship of God.

 The more broken we are, the humbler we become. And, the humbler we are, the more grace we receive. God is always seeking those who are poor in spirit, and lowly of heart to do his will. The Spirit of God is more able to flow through us when we have a greater affection for him, and for people. After all, affection is a gentle feelingof fondness or liking according to the Oxford dictionary.

Have you ever noticed you will go out of your way to help the people you love, and care about? Don’t you love to see a smile on the face of someone you helped, who was in dire need of assistance. Well, it’s the same way when you have a genuine affection for Christ. You want him to delight in you, because you love him. You want to do things he asked of you, because you love him. Well, at least that’s how I FEEL about him.

Feelings are apart of the human experience, and when cultivated and expressed properly our love for our neighbors increase. It’s hard to intentionally harm someone you genuinely love, or at least it should be. I think we can all agree the world could use a lot more empathy. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Realigning Your Emotions

As stated earlier, emotions are a gift from GOD. We are absolutely supposed to be concerned about how our actions affect others. We all have a duty to cultivate our own emotional identities, so that we are more emotionally, and spiritually mature. We are to move from the elementary things of God, to the “meatier” matters of the Kingdom. I’m convinced God is annoyed every time someone uses “That’s just the way God made me” to excuse their bad behaviors. God requires that we pursue knowledge and gain understanding. He requires that we grow, and move from glory to glory, from strength to strength.

A key element in realigning your emotions is to become aware and versed in understanding what triggers certain emotions in you and developing a plan of action (as well as praying, prayer is fundamental). You should also know the works of the flesh, which include:

  • Sexual Immorality                    
  • Moral Impurity 
  • Promiscuity
  • Idolatry
  • Dissensions and Factions
  • Envy and Jealousy
  • Strife & Outbursts of Anger
  • Selfish Ambition
  • Drunkenness

If you find yourself engaging in the above continuously and recklessly, then these are good indicators, that your emotional health may be out of alignment. Personally, speaking I found that inner care, and therapy also helped to pinpoint the root causes of many of my destructive patterns.

All I know is we all were created to experience all the abundance life has to offer. But unaligned and stifled emotions block us from truly experiencing the goodness of Christ and keeps us from sharing in his riches.  These riches include:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Gentleness

Emotions with Christ at the center produce Good Fruit! In his presence, there is Liberty, and Fullness of Joy!

“Emotions make you cry sometimes, and they’ll make you fall in love.” H-Town