|By Ivana Besevic|
Emotions: a strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
Any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.
We all have emotions and they change depend on the circumstances we find ourselves in— we laugh, we cry, we rejoice, we smile, we get angry, we become fearful, we giggle, we feel disappointment and grief. Emotions are normal and not only do we have emotions — so do our pets, just watch a cat or dog for a while and see their emotions.
Some people will cry when watching a sad movie or laugh at a funny part of a book. Others get angry when watching the news and they see something they feel passionate about. However, there are those who control their emotions and avoid showing them to others, they often seem cold or detached because they won’t allow anyone else to see how “they feel”.
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Some cultures are very open with their emotions — some will cry loudly at funerals and what may seem to be quite hysterical behaviour, whilst the English are known for their “stiff upper lip”.
Whilst emotions are generally healthy and good, we do not want to be ruled by our emotions and use them to get our own way. For example some women are expert at bursting into tears just when their husband is about to say no and they have learnt how to use their emotions to manipulate their husbands. Some women can get very angry and have outbursts of yelling which is not healthy or good in any marriage (likewise when a husband yells or becomes physically violent).
Rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4)
We also want to avoid negative emotion as these are also very unhealthy. Negative emotions can be described as any feeling which causes you to be miserable and sad. These emotions make you dislike yourself and others, and take away your confidence. Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally and seeing situations in their true perspective. When this occurs, we tend to see only what we want to see and remember only what we want to remember. This only prolongs the anger or grief and prevents us from enjoying life.
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)
So what does the bible say about emotions?
That we must learn to manage our emotions rather than allowing our emotions to manage us. For example, when we feel angry, it is important to be able to stop, identify that we are angry, examine our hearts to determine why we are angry, and then proceed in a biblical manner — For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20). This doesn't mean we mustn't cry when sad, it just means not letting these emotions take control of you. We will all cry when we loose a loved one and that feeling of lose will linger—it is completely natural but what we mustn't do is become engulfed in that grief and not recover.
Many emotions are sinful worldly ones and these will be our undoing and must be avoided: Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
The emotions that God wants to see in us are:But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:122-23)
To avoid emotions ruling our lives we need daily input of scriptural principles, a desire to grow in the knowledge of God, and time spent meditating on God’s attributes. We should seek to know more of God and share more of our hearts with God through prayer.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)