Emotions Good and Bad
Emotions are like winds. They are the E (for \'energy\') behind the motion that moves us (hence the word \'E Motion\'). Some emotions are gentle, some are powerful. They can blow our lives in a new direction or take us to a quiet place of rest. They may lead us to a place we do not want to go. Emotions can be good or bad, depending on the source. To be emotional is human. To use emotion properly is divine.
God has emotions. One of these emotions is joy. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that His joy is our strength. Another emotion is compassion. It was this emotion that moved Jesus to heal the sick. Grief too is an emotion experienced by God, as in the days of Noah when the violence of mankind caused Him great heartache (see Genesis 6:6). And while God is slow to anger, He does get angry. Just read the account of Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple for an example of such anger. And so we see that joy, compassion, grief, and anger are four emotions experienced by God.
Man, who has been created in the image of God, also has emotions - God-given emotions, created for the purpose of good works. Unfortunately, his emotions have been corrupted by sin and influenced by that dragon Satan, so that what God intended for good may easily be used for evil.
Because of this, some philosophers, even Christian ones, suggest that people ignore their emotions, as if they did not exist. They encourage believers to live stoically, by facts alone; to think with their brains and never with their hearts. But is that the purpose for which God created mankind - to be a mere reasoning machine, devoid of all feeling?
Think about it. Not to have emotions is not to move. It is to be dead, dull, and boring. Like a robot. Or a zombie. God sent His one and only Son into the world not to make us zombies but to give us life - abundant life (John 10:10). As embodied in the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as well as all the qualities of love (I Corinthians 13). Now those are good emotions!
However, we must beware. Because for every good emotion that comes from God, Satan has a counterfeit designed to lead us astray. For example, the love of God (which moved Jesus to the cross) finds its counterfeit in the love of man, inordinate affection which leads to idolatry. Mistaking the latter for the former can lead to serious sin, such as adultery. That\'s why it\'s important to discern the difference between godly and ungodly emotions.
God\'s Word is the dividing line in all of this, according to Hebrews 4:12, for it discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (from whence emotions flow). For example, if you find yourself \"falling in love\" with a married man or woman who is not your spouse, the Biblical command \"Thou shalt not commit adultery\" confirms to you that the source of your \"in love\" feelings is either flesh or devil, not God.
However, should you find yourself overcome by such feelings, do not despair. It happens to everyone. Rather than ignore your feelings, the best thing to do is to surrender them to God. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Because His feelings (emotions) for you run deep. And the greatest of these is love.
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