Monday, April 19, 2010

I'll cry if I want to ...?

I know that when it comes to emotions/feelings, I am an enigma to my husband. And even though I realize he’ll probably never “get” where I’m coming from, I am still compelled to dump all my feelings on him. After all, as a friend recently pointed out, he has “perfectly shaped ears,” designed, I’m sure, just for listening to me.

So year after year I make him listen to my tales fraught with mean people and difficult situations and just how hard life can be. And a common reply on his part is often, “That’s good for you! It will toughen you up.”

So year after year I’ve been telling myself that I need to toughen up and not be so sensitive – until I rejected that notion and said, “Wait a minute! Why do I have to be tough? God made me a sensitive person, and I’ll cry if I want to.”

Hmmm, maybe a reality check is in order.

God-given emotions are good. We have plenty of biblical examples of people expressing strong emotions – agonizing and weeping over the lost, for example.

God’s will is for us to be molded into the image and likeness of Christ. As we grow up in Christ, our emotions will reflect that growth. No longer slaves to bouts of depression, fits of anger, or spells of self-pity, our Spirit-filled lives will reflect His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control – and the wonderful emotions that accompany this fruit.

If you are a highly emotional person who feels things deeply and cries easily, rejoice in the knowledge that you are created in the image of an emotional God! At the same time, be willing to surrender any emotions that are not from Him; they will lead only to despair and destruction.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1–3).

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