Emotions: Friend or Foe?

emotionsIf you’ve been doing your homework this week, you’ve probably had to face some buried emotions as you worked through some hard times in your past or present.

I love what Shereen had to share with us this week about emotions. For those of you who missed it, here’s what she had to say:

We are emotional beings and God made us that way.

Whether you have a list of wonderful things you’re thankful for  . . . or you’re counting more ugly-beautiful these days  . . . you are dealing with emotion. Would you agree?

So what do we DO with our negative emotions?

Stifle them?

Deny them?

Get frustrated and angry?

How about we learn to understand where our negative emotions are coming from and where God would want our emotions to lead us in a positive way?

Here are just a few of the negative emotions we often deal with as women:

Worry.  When you worry, you chew over something. You consider over and over a certain problem or fear. Now God wants us to ponder and process the deeper issues of life, but He has in mind for us to do that with Him.  The flip-side of worry is called WORSHIP.

I wonder if worry speaks to our longing for PEACE.

Loneliness. It’s natural to feel lonely. We were made for relationships and there is a deep longing in all of us to be connected with one another. I think loneliness is a longing for a being uniquely known by God—His one-and-only. God has in mind for us to always be connected with Him.

In moments of loneliness . . .  run to Jesus.

Guilt & shame. We often hear these two words together, but I’ve needed to differentiate them in my own life to find a deep healing. This is what I’ve learned: Guilt comes as a conviction of sin I’ve committed. So, when I feel guilt, God would have me seek His forgiveness for my actions.

Shame comes as a result of someone else’s sin against me. It affects how I view myself among others. When I feel shame rise in my soul, I go to God for forgiveness as well—NOT for a sin I’ve committed, but to have the courage to offer forgiveness to another.

Guilt & shame were the first emotions Adam & Eve expressed after they fell into sin . . . so I wonder if they speak to our longing to return to PERFECTION.

Frustration. Yes, life can be very frustrating! But when I give up my right to my plans and ask God to show me His plan for my life, I can be more free than frustrated with disappointments.

So, perhaps our frustration/anger/bitterness with life here points to our longing for HOME.

Notice a pattern for dealing with negative emotions? Our emotions are leading us somewhere . . . how about we let them lead us to God?

What emotion are you struggling with today? Can you think of a way God wants to use that emotion to bring you closer to Him? Take a few moments and share your thoughts.

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