Many people believe that you are sinning when you have certain negative emotions. Most emotions are not sinful; it is what you do with your feelings that can be sinful. Christ experienced emotions. Our emotions can be a great motivator when we know what to do with them.
It saddens my heart when someone is oppressed or depressed and a Christian will tell them that all they need is more faith or they need to trust God more. Faith and trust are important, but that alone does not get to the root of the emotion. Those Christians make the situation worse instead of better. Sometimes, a person just needs an encouraging word or help correcting the situation that is causing the depression. At times, the depression is caused by a chemical unbalance in the brain and medication is necessary. Other times, a person’s lifestyle is causing the depression and that person does not see the connection between the depression and their lifestyle. When it is a person’s lifestyle, we need to help the person see what is on the other side if they will make the proper changes.
Often times, people are thought of as crazy when they suffer mentally, causing people not to seek help when they need to. We, as Christians, need to let people know that emotions are there to tell them something and then help them walk through their situations. We need to let people know they do not need to be ashamed to seek help.
God Himself has emotions. He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5). He alone is to be worshipped. Just as there is a place reserved only for your spouse, there is an intimate place that is reserved only for God. When another enters that place, there is a righteous jealousy. God gets angry. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Why does He get angry, He gets angry because of what comes from wickedness. Verse 14 in the same chapter tells us why God is angry, “Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.” God knows that sin and falsehood bring pain. He does not want to see people in pain. Emotions say, “Things are out-of-order, something is wrong or things are going as they should.”
Christ also experienced a number of different emotions. The difference between man and Christ is that Christ never allowed His emotions to rule or control Him. Here are a few examples:
- Anger (John 2:15-17; Matthew 21:12) ~ Why was Christ angry? He was angry because people were using the temple for their own gain instead of what the temple was intended for, a house of prayer. The anger motivated Him to take care of the problem and make the temple a place of prayer and worship once again.
- Compassion (Matthew 9:35-38; Matthew 20:29-34) ~ Why did Christ have compassion? He had compassion because He saw hurting and lost people. What did He do with His feeling? He healed the sick and died a brutal death to reunite us to the Father.
- Anxiety (Mark 14:32-42; John 12:27-28) ~ Remember that Christ took on a human form. He experienced pain. He was getting ready to go through more than any human would ever face (emotionally, He was mocked and made fun of; physically, He was beaten beyond recognition, and died a brutal death; spiritually, He was going to become sin so we could become righteous). Wow! He had to work through that in order to make it to the other side. What did He do with that emotion? He sought His Father’s face in prayer and then proceeded to accomplish God’s Will for His life on earth! That thought blows me away every time I think about it and fills me with thanksgiving.
- Joy (Luke 10:1-24) ~ Christ was sending people out to do the work of God. They came back filled with joy because of how God used them. That brought joy to Christ? Why? It brought Him joy because the people were doing what they were supposed to be doing.
- Forsaken (Matthew 27:45-50) ~ In Christ’s darkest hour, He must have felt like God had forsaken (means to renounce or turn away from completely) Him. God had to allow this dark hour because it was going to birth the most wonderful gift (eternal life for those who trust in what Christ did on that cross; Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”).
If you have a little time, look up each passage, and pay close attention to the emotion Jesus was experiencing. Think about the situation that caused the emotion, and what was Jesus’ response to the emotion. Doing this will give you a deeper understanding to the importance of getting to the root of your emotions and knowing how to process them correctly.
If you are experiencing emotions and you do not know what to do with them, please seek godly counsel (Proverbs 12:15; 19:20). If you do not know where to start, please leave a message below or email me @ email@example.com and I will try to lead you to some wise counsel. Please do not feel ashamed. God uses others to set the captive free. Allow God to set you free from the bondage of your emotions.
Let’s be a part of changing the stigma that goes along with mental counsel. Counsel is a wonderful thing. It heals the mind and soul.
By: Linda Svacha 🙂