On Sunday, Paul spoke to us about the two extremes of emotions: 1) Emotionalism, where we let our emotions rule and dictate our life and 2) Stoicism, where we live very rational lives, but don’t pay attention to our emotions and what they are telling us. By nature and disposition, some of us are more “gushers” and some of us are more “stuffers”. Some of us follow our emotions wherever they lead us and some of us ignore them at all costs. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, and some of us would be great poker players – we are so inscrutable!
Perhaps you can recognise yourself and how you handle your emotions.
Learning to recognise, name, listen to and master our emotions is not easy, but it is a sign of growth and spiritual maturity. As Paul said on Sunday, we have to make sense of, monitor and manage our emotions!
One of the keys to this I have found is to be brutally honest. As Rick Warren put it in his small group teaching: “You must be honest with yourself, honest with God, and honest with one other person.”
As the Psalmist put it: “You desire truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6)
The Psalms are full of honest and raw expressions of emotion and feeling – laying it all before God. Sometimes I think we hold back, we gloss over our feeling and our failures, we hide in the likeness of Adam and Eve, we know God knows, but we live in the shadows.
Whether you write it, or sing it, or speak it; whisper it or shout it, it is a good and healing thing to be very honest with God about where you are and lean in to him and his wonderful mercy and grace. Being honest about our feelings, watching our gauges, and spending time in God’s presence will help us to grow and flourish emotionally.
I was thinking this morning about God’s peace – and how he tells us to bring our worries and anxiety to him and he will give us his peace in exchange. I listened to the song “It is well” by Kristene diMarco, and was struck by the line:
“So let go my soul and trust in him
The waves and wind still know his name”.
May God’s peace come to you and rest on you as you lean into him.