Emotions are us; given by God. They are neither good nor bad; they just are. I’ve often wondered if we are being authentic when we seek positive, happy emotions, but stifle and squelch negative, sad ones. Actually, I think, putting into words our negative emotions diminishes their intensity and declaring positive emotions gives us a deeper experience of them.

Share the grief; be half as sad.
Share the joy; be twice as glad.

Be wise. Be perceptive. Be aware. Wisdom and awareness help us to understand and decide between what emotions are reasonable for the situation and what are not. Mercifully, our passing emotional state does not reflect our permanent spiritual position in Christ. Be thankful. Be secure. Be strong.

What emotions fill your heart when you think of the lost, visit the sick, grapple with an immoral society, hear of tragedies, have a falling-out with someone or lose your job or your best friend? Maligned, criticized, insulted? Complimented, praised, admired? How do you feel? Either defeated or elated, one may become more outspoken; another may withdraw and bottle up their undesirable emotions. We all have responses, reactions and survival mechanisms that are poles apart. Be yourself. Be gentle. Be forgiving.

Jesus had feelings. He cried at the death of Lazarus. He spoke in loving tenderness to both Mary and Martha, exactly what each heart and different temperament needed. He reserved the strongest words possible in levelling accusations at the Pharisees. He called hypocritical people names. He rightly exposed their deeper motives. What emotion did Jesus feel when He healed the woman with the haemorrhage or spoke to the one at the well? When He preached? When He walked among the people? When He cleared the temple? What were His feelings in the Garden of Gethsemane? When He was tortured? Even the human life of Christ was not free from emotional work and no one can imagine the pain He suffered on our behalf. Yet, all His responses were appropriate. Be an imitator of Christ. Be real. Be genuine.

Your feelings can be up or down; yet you are a child of the Father. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions; just don’t give them permission to control you. The key is to feel the right emotion, at the right time, for the right reason. Are you truly happy or is that your public persona? Are you actually angry or are you afraid? Are you frustrated, or stressed and tired? Pretending is denial and bondage to fear. Be honest. Unresolved core issues hinder growth. Communicate. Be courageous. Time doesn’t heal anything; God heals in His time. Don’t allow others to sign you up for guilt trips that you don’t cope in the same way they do! Leave your baggage at the cross. God has created you with unique emotional responses. Others may never feel what you do and that’s okay! Be mature. Be still and know that He is God. Be content.

Grieving a loss and can’t muster a smile? That’s fine. Realize that you are body, soul and spirit; one deeply affects the other. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be truthful. Give others opportunities to learn empathy, consideration and compassion by ministering to you. Do you feel more awkward responding to people who are in emotional pain than to those in physical pain? It’s not catching. Draw closer, enfolding them in genuine love and prayers. Be considerate. Be kind-hearted. Be tender. A warm touch or hug, encouraging words, a gentle sense of humour, go a long way in providing a safe, healing and supportive environment. Through the Body of Christ, the family of God, the Holy Spirit brings healing and transformation. Go ahead, feel your emotions; be angry, but sin not! Just like medicine; too much could kill you and too little achieves nothing. Be healed! Be whole! Be free!

Karin Ristau


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

THank-you for those appropriate words.Sometimes I as well as others struggle with my emotions,especially when there are issues that hurt so much.Yes,I do know that God can and will heal in His time not mine.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love that saying, "Share the grief; be half as sad. Share the joy; be twice as glad." WONDERFUL


Tulsi said...

I think I've done well in the situation I'm in but was glad to read your blog.

karin said...

Welcome Tulsi! Thanks Ruth and Betsy for your comments. Appreciate your visits!

George said...

Thanks for these great words of wisdom.

Warren Baldwin said...

I think it is good advice to own our emotions. Even if we are over reacting, we will only know that if we allow ourselves to feel and not deny (which is deceiving ourselves and is not healthy). Good thoughts, thank you.

And ... thanks for your comments on Kristin's speech. She received a gold for it.

karin said...

Thanks George and Warren for your kind comments. A long while ago someone took great delight in pointing out that I was 'too emotional and analytical' in some of my responses. I brought that to the Lord, if indeed this person's comment might contain truth for me. This is what He placed on my heart to write. It was my way of working it through! I'm grateful that over the years I've been able to help others come this conclusion.

So glad Kristin received a gold for her speech! Congrats to her and her proud dad!

Karabeth said...

Thanks Karin. My emotions have been all over the map recently. But as long as the Lord has the GPS and knows where I am I know I shouldn't worry about it.

Lady Dorothy said...

Great word! I like your analogy to medicine -- too much could kill you and too little achieves nothing.

David certainly expressed all of his emotions, negative and postive. And he was a man after God's own heart!

karin said...

Amen to that Lady Dorothy! I love reading the Psalms and that King David can freely express himself without condemnation. We need more of that nowadays!