<<strong feelings, passion>>

These powerful inner motivators, along with everything else on earth that has been warped by sin, are not in themselves sinful – but are when misused.

We are to be in charge of our emotions as they have input into our responses yet they should not dictate them. We are answerable for our behaviour. Grief can threaten to overwhelm us. Anger can erupt spontaneously. Love can quickly deteriorate to lust or hate by a change in circumstance or response from another party, with another incorrect expression is forming soul ties. Wrong emotions out of control can jeopardise what has taken years to establish. 

Our soul (which comprises the mind, will and emotions) is to be in under the restraint of our spirit, as emotions can quickly get out of control causing us to lose sight of the real perspective when we react irrationally. Often these intense mental feelings express themselves involuntarily to our shame and the discrediting of God.  Emotional decisions made in the heat of the moment are normally rash and foolish with long-term regret afterwards. Our emotions and feelings should only be expressed appropriately. Emotions can be expressed (vented), suppressed (acknowledged yet not dealt with), repressed (denied and buried deep in the subconscious).

Openly express the desirable positive emotions while, with self-control, endeavouring
not to exhibit negative ones by reacting spontaneously in retaliation.  When you are aware of wrong destructive emotions deal with them as these inner thoughts and attitudes will bring mental torment and manifest in later life with detrimental effect. Suppressed and

Emotions are good indicators but bad masters

repressed emotions cause problems, stunting our lives, causing us to withdraw, put up barriers and being less than the whole people Jesus wants to make of us.  Bring the issues before God (after all He knows how we are feeling anyway) and work it through with Him first, then you will be able to discuss the situation objectively with those involved.

Don’t bottle up emotions as they will explode with devastating effect causing heartache and embarrassment. All hurtful experiences leave emotional scars on our personalities that will often also outwork themselves in the physical body, in sickness and disease, so it is wise to bring all potentially harmful feelings and attitudes to the cross and allow Jesus to heal them. Self-focus, because it is a negative quality is energy draining, while self-pity prevents inner or emotional healing.

Everyone is affected in their emotions to some degree by the events of life. When things are going well for us, we are buoyed up in our spirits while if things are hard and difficult we have a heaviness of spirit. When we are down in the dumps, depressed, and in despair because we are not being ministered to what is the solution? Immediately after asking, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” the remedy is given, “Put your hope in God” (Ps 42:5,6,11, 43:5). What a change would take place in and through our lives if we wept over our sin, rejoiced in the salvation of God and the release of His Spirit within together with a realisation of being spiritually alive while being dead to the influences and situations in the world. The Holy Spirit uses feelings of remorse and guilt to bring about repentance.

Jesus showed strong emotions and feelings: frustration, compassion, sorrow, anger, weeping, strong crying and tears yet fear and worry are not mentioned (Mt 17:17,18, 20:34, 26:38; Mk 3:5; Jn 11:35; Heb 5:7). Thus He understands and can relate to our feelings (Heb 4:15).  As our feelings are continuously changing, they are not reliable

Bring your emotions into line with the Word of God

indicators. For example, when you don’t ‘feel’ saved choose to believe the promises of God’s Word which are unchangeable rather than your own perception. Emotions are intensifiers of inner feelings not initiators. As such, they are a guide as to how we are ‘on the inside’. If we are irritable maybe, we need more sleep to reduce the expenditure of emotion.

Since we are commanded to love, then it must be within our power, with Christ's enablement (Jn 13:34,35; Rom 13:8; 1 Jn 4:7). Love, therefore, is a decision we make. Yes, love will often be accompanied by feelings, but emotion is not the basis of love. “We love because He first loved us” (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:19). Since God is love and we are created in His image, we can love as He does by imitating what He does (Eph 5:1; 1 Jn 4:16). He has placed His capacity to love within our hearts. He then teaches us how to love by demonstrating what real love looks like (Jn 15:13). In any given situation, we can choose to love, regardless of how we feel.

Emotional health is having an internalised sense of worth and value, rather than relying on others to give it to us, knowing that if others give it, then they can also take it away. An emotionally healthy person is able to positively manage their inner emotions and express them in an appropriate way. If emotions are a major influencing factor in a person’s life they can open up them up to deception.

The battlefield is in the mind. A negative, out of control response is the cause of much violence and hurt, while a positive emotion can be a powerful catalyst to motivate us to make life-changes or with compassion to help those in need.

Right action leads to right feeling.  Don’t wait for the right feeling before you act as feelings are often reactions. Don’t look at the circumstances, look to Jesus. When your emotions are hurt, do not lash out or resort to escapism to try and bring inner relief. The

Do my responses line-up with His?

devil tempts us at our low vulnerable times to do things we would not normally contemplate.  

Females are normally more emotional than males, especially during some phases of the menstrual cycle. Self-control must be exercised especially when our emotions are adversely affected by tiredness, stress, hormone imbalance or criticism from others.  What are my emotions and reactions when several things go wrong at once?  Job’s was to praise God, David wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times (Job 1:21; Ps 34:1). When everything was a disaster the response was, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour” (Hab 3:17,18). We choose what our response will be, to look at the situation either through our natural eyes or try and see ourselves as under God’s protection and the object of His love (Rom 8:28).

Emotional dependency is when a person’s need for belonging, security and value is met in an unhealthy way. This is also termed co-dependency where one person supports or enables another’s dysfunctional lifestyle – of addiction, poor mental health, irresponsibility, or under achievement.

Emotional abuse is verbal abuse and criticism that cripples another’s self-worth and independence.

See also: affections, anger, attitude, body/soul/spirit, co-dependency, depression, escapism, feelings, frustration, hurts, inner healing, mental health, moods, not being ministered to, reaction, responsible/responsibility, self-control, self-pity, soul ties, stress, temptation.