God created us to be emotional, feeling human beings. Managing our emotions is an important skill set for anyone who wants to help others deal with life situations and life circumstances. I know from personal experience that it is very difficult for me to learn from someone who may be strong in their knowledge of the Word of God but in their emotional life they are a wreck.
It is equally important for our own personal peace and happiness to get a handle on our emotions. As Christian believers, our emotions play a major part of being “in His image”. Jesus was emotionally expressive during His ministry and portrayed a life of self-control, and situational discernment. He experienced anger, sadness, grief, excitement, joy, love and even experienced feelings of abandonment.
Our feelings are every changing. They seem to fluctuate with no apparent reason. We can go to bed feeling good about our day and in good spirits, and the next morning wake up irritable and tired. We often ask ourselves, “Why am I feeling this way?” It can be very frustrating and confusing. The good news is we can learn how to manage our emotions instead of our emotions managing us.
It’s important to know that even though we feel bad, we can still choose do what is right. Our feelings are neither good nor evil. Our feelings cannot always be trusted though and they are usually unreliable. We are to follow wisdom not our feelings. The Holy Spirit will convict our hearts to follow wisdom instead of our emotions. For example, something may feel (emotion) right be we know (wisdom) it to be wrong. Paul explains his own struggles with sin in Romans chapter 7 and I believe he is not only telling us of the sin within us but also the emotions and feelings that go along with this struggle. We know what’s right but sinning would feel good or feel more comfortable than doing what is right. Paul also tells us in Romans 8:5-8 that if we have the Spirit of Christ living within us that we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not our old nature.
“Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God.” (Romans 8:5)
My emotions and feelings have run amok as an adult and although I have definitely “grown up” and matured in the last couple years, I still have much more work to do in this area. Just about my entire adult life has been consumed with drugs and alcohol I have heard that my emotional maturity stopped at the age of 18, which is when I started drinking and using on a daily basis. I have also heard that our emotional maturity ceased to grow at the onset of abuse and neglect. Any form of abuse, addiction or trauma greatly affects where we stand in our emotional lives.
I want to explore the Christian’s emotional life deeper and will be writing more posts on our feelings and how we can learn to do better in this area of our lives. We should do our best to model the emotional life of Jesus and I will be exploring more of how He managed His emotions when He walked on this earth. It is my hope that I can help you learn some practical ways to manage your emotions and we can mature together in how we handle our feelings on a daily basis. The transforming power of the Holy Spirit will help us heal our emotions from past hurts and with His help we can learn to develop a stable emotional life. As followers of Christ I believe it is our responsibility to develop and mature our emotional lives to a level that is pleasing to God and in return it will enable us to live a life of peace, joy and a sense of contentment no matter what is going on around us.