When I learned that my first blog series with Worth More Ministries was going to about emotions, I almost laughed.
I’m not an emotions kind of girl. I have never cried during a movie or show. I rarely cry at all. I don’t get angry very often, and it takes a lot of work to do something that upsets me for more than an hour. On the other side of the emotional scale, it’s also unusual for anyone to describe me as energetic or excited. I definitely don’t happy cry. As a general rule, I don’t “do” emotions, so the idea of me writing a blog series that will encourage ladies who are struggling with some sort of emotion seems hilarious in a Shakespearean, ironic kind of way.
But the more I thought about it (read: the more I worried and consequently had to repent and lay it at the feet of Jesus) the more I began to realize that perhaps I had a better perspective to offer than I had been giving myself credit for.
It’s not that I don’t feel emotions—everyone feels emotions—but unlike some people, I don’t always know how to express them. More often than not, this is because I have trouble naming my emotions. If someone lies to me I have trouble pinpointing the fact that I feel disappointment and sadness. I certainly would feel disappointed and sad; I just couldn’t convey it to them very well. Because of that, I know and understand the importance of recognizing emotions for all they contribute to the human experience.
The emotions themselves are not totally bad. In fact, they’re really rather helpful. Emotions let us know when something needs to change. They remind us to give praise and thanksgiving to the Lord when everything seems to be going well. The problem with emotions is that it’s incredibly easy to misinterpret and misuse the messages emotions send.
Emotions are a lot like most of the shows on TLC. They tend to swing you to one extreme or another, and they hold a grain of truth disguised as a seemingly reliable allusion of reality. Problems arise when we cannot separate the truth emotions point us to from the lies we create. And the only way to refute the lies that can come from emotions is to call them out by name and redirect them to the truth of God they were designed to point us to in the first place.
From Adam and Eve’s shame in the garden, to Jesus’ anger in the defiled temple of his Father, emotions have played an important role in the redemption story, and they are no less important in our Christian walks today. As with all things good, bad, and indifferent, God will work misinterpreted emotions to good on behalf of those who believe in him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Through this series, my hope is that, together, we can learn to understand when emotions are doing their job, recognize when they are misused or misunderstood, and learn how to redirect the lies that spring from misinterpreted emotions back to the truth of God.
If we respond to them correctly, emotions can lead us to the feet of Jesus every time.