Just as Jesus was concluding His message on the mountain (Matthew 5-7), He exhorted everyone to hear His words and do them. Such a one would be as a person who built his house upon a rock. When the rains came, winds blew, and floods arose, the house stood firm. Never kid yourself: Where you stand is important. Upon whatever your foundation is determines attitudes and actions.
Keep this statement in mind about emotion:
Our emotions are what we either pay too much attention to, or too little.
Our emotions sometimes are deeper and richer than our faith. Because of our faith in God, we will have emotional moments. Emotion which needs to be expressed for unexpressed feelings may hurt us longer than wisely expressing feelings. Though we may not know how to properly express our feelings, there are occasions where feelings need to be expressed. One reason is to fulfill Romans 12.15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”
It is important not only to feel our own emotions, but to feel the emotions of others. This is one of the points of Galatians 6.1 and the need to restore a Christian in moments of a trespass. Understanding their reason for trespassing God’s will is the impulse or warning to watch what we are doing as well as to prevent yielding to the same temptation. When we enter into the experience of those around us, feeling their emotions with them, good things can happen.
A valuable point about emotion is that our emotions can be a powerful ally when managed properly. When we give them either too much or too little space, harmful results usually follow. Our passions are a challenge. Sin stirs our emotions. Our children stir our emotions. Our troubles stir our emotions. Something, everything stirs our emotions. Is our faith ready to handle the emotion?
These days, emotional experience tends to be priority. Our first attitudes and actions come from the emotions we sense when a car pulls out in front of us, we receive a rebuke, the washer quits, or our child does not get to play in the game.
Another point we must acknowledge is that our emotions are poor managers of our lives. How we feel flows quite naturally from how we think. Emotions can be a wonderful support for our faith, but emotions alone can never tell us right from wrong. They never make very good decisions. They should never be allowed to be in the driver’s seat of our lives. The driver’s seat should be reserved only for a conscience convicted upon faith in God and scripture. As Robert Benson said:
“Emotions should be servants, not masters - or at least not tyrants.”
Emotions cannot be disregarded. They come without invitation. They sometimes linger longer than we expect. They go away quickly. Regardless of their length of stay, we can govern our intentions and our actions. Emotions are wonderful, but they are up and down. You may “feel like it” one day, and the next day, “not feel like it.” The weather can change your feelings. Lack of sleep affects feelings. Do not permit your emotions to decide if you love God or whether or not God loves you. God’s word promises us of His love, grace, and mercy. That is where your faith should stand. If you let “goose bumps,” a “tingling sensation,” or “chills” prove God’s love for you, it may be the flu you have, not faith. Each of us must know how responsible we are for our own emotions, their length of stay, and what we do with them. When we do what is right, our emotions will adjust to what our faith should be.
Keep in mind,
Our emotions are meant to help us They just need a heart of faith so as not to be misused.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11.1). “Substance” is “a setting or placing under.” Faith has consistency. It should always be the basis for our actions and words, even in the presence of emotion. It is underneath our character and behavior. This is how we keep our faith alive, and our faith needs to have more life to it than our emotions do.
Have the courage to stand upon God and His word always. Choosing to believe in God is an act of trust, not emotion. We should believe Him, because we judge the evidence to be greatly in His favor. It is a responsible choice, a wise choice, and a courageous choice to have faith control our emotions.