Sunday, November 2, 2008

Developing a Biblical View of Emotions

Emotions are something that every person deals with. Emotions drive how we respond to most situations in our lives. As Christians how can wrong thinking, and wrong emotions be changed to glorify God.

Emotions are God given; God Himself had emotions as we see throughout scriptures (Isaiah 42:1; Exodus 32:10, Mark 14:34-36; Luke 10:41). God's emotions flow from a holy and righteous nature and never keeps Him from his purposes.

Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and so we have emotions. But because man is sinful, these emotions no longer are guided by holiness and truth. It is only as we are conformed to His image that our emotions can be guided with truth.

There are many passages in scripture where God commands us to experience emotions. We are to have contentment (Hebrews 13:5), to have a forgiving heart (Matthew 18: 21-22), to love one another (1 John 4:9-11), to serve (Matthew 25:35-36), to be thankful (Ephesians 5:20), and to be humble (Philippians 2:3).

Many things can influence our emotions such as influences over life, interpretations that were taught or misunderstood. Also desires or wants, fears and experiences change and impact emotions. Many people feel compelled to honor these emotions when they have them. Through faith, God's grace, and our choice to root our minds in God's word will be the only way to renew our minds and emotions (Romans 12:2). The renewed mind will be one that is controlled by the Word of God. We will begin to put-off and put-on right thinking, which will lead to Godly emotions.

As a person looks to God's Word to define life, and who he is in Christ, he will find more effective ways to respond to his emotions. Again if our emotions are wrong, they must be changed through God's truths, and then the Holy Spirit will enable us to respond in a way that would bring Glory to God. Emotions can be changed by learning what is true, and then obeying God. Changing our thinking and then obeying will give us peace (Philippians 4:7-9). By obeying God we will also get joy (Psalms 1; Psalms 19:7-14; Psalms 119:1-8). Temptations will be less (Ephesians 6:10-12). We will bear fruit (John 15:1-8). The Word will convict, and show thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12). The Word will teach us all we need for godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He will teach us through His Word (John 14:25-26). While everyday living is full of circumstances that produce emotions. We should never be driven by our emotions, but by what we know to be true in God's Word.

1 comment:

paulspassingthoughts said...

Yep, right on. It is also interesting what Nathan focused on when he confronted David in regard to the Bathsheba situation:
"Why have you dispised the *word* of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?" 2Sam. 12:9
paul

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