Monday, January 21, 2013
God created us as emotional beings. It is true that we are not to be led only by our emotions, but neither are we to shut them off. An indicator that God has shown me as to whether or not my emotions are “right” is the motive behind the emotion. God always checks the heart. If the emotion is fueled by a total focus upon ourselves, then it is born of pride. As soon as we lose focus of His glory, our emotions - and our thoughts - are subject to lead us astray.
Though we try, we cannot simply shut off our sinful emotions, either. God gives us the power to overcome them - but how? By redirecting our focus. If I am afraid that someone is going to hate me because of something I say, where is my focus? It’s on myself, and wanting to be loved and accepted. Wanting to be loved and accepted isn’t a bad thing. But why I am seeking it from man first? I am placing my fear in man.
But “who [am I] that [I am] afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass, that [I] have forgotten the Lord [my] Maker[?]” (Isaiah 51:12b-13a) Rather, I should “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) Namely, God. (You can see more on this in Weekly Impressions - Fear.) By redirecting my focus - and in this case, at least, my emotion, fear - upon the One Who sustains me, I can align myself with His will through His Divine Power.
Emotions can be Warning Signals that our focus has strayed. They can also be indicators that we are on the right path. The key is to examine the motive behind it - and be honest with yourself. “‘The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind...’” (Jeremiah 17:9-10a). Ask God to reveal your heart to you. He will, and it isn’t always easy to face.
I am thankful for emotions, that God gave them to us for a reason. I am glad that God does not wish us to stuff them, nor to boast in them, but to use them for His glory. May we fix our eyes upon Jesus.