I think emotions get a bad rap, especially around the church sometimes. I do see more and more pastors and speakers giving them a nod these days, but then I turn around and hear another speaker say the word “feelings” like an elementary school boy says “cooties”.
“…their existence is not something we need to extinguish in our lives.”
Emotions are neither cooties, nor the plague. I promise. And they are certainly not something to be ignored. They are built in to the fabric of how God made us. While they are affected by the chaos and suffering of sin just like our bodies and spirits, their existence is not something we need to extinguish in our lives.
“Emotions clue us into our innermost beliefs. “
The biggest thing that I see happening is that people elevate logic and intellect and diminish and dismiss the importance of their emotions. We even see the body as something more “sacred” than our emotions. But this leaves us with a very important tool offline and out of service.
Emotions clue us into our innermost beliefs. I define a belief as something we know to be true (as in we know why we believe it) and something that also feels completely true to us too. That feeling true part is a vital distinction between a belief in something and having knowledge about something.
“Our emotions can have an important message to tell us that logic can’t always relay.”
They are also something we literally feel in our bodies. It’s that tightness in your chest or butterflies in your stomach feeling. No, it’s not just last nights tacos talking to you. Our emotions can have an important message to tell us that logic can’t always relay. They often tell us something is affirming, or rubbing against our beliefs.
Lean in and listen to the emotion. See why it’s there. Figure out what belief about self, God, or the world is driving it. Then let facts and logic weigh in on the truth of that belief.
Emotions don’t have to be scary or dismissed. Let’s take a look over the next few weeks at some of the base emotions and they have to tell us about ourselves and our beliefs.