August 4, 2011 by Heather Harris
One of my readers, Sam Kee, brought up a good point in response to my blog post, “Emotions Are Not Always Your Friends.” In this post I discussed how it is important to control our emotions, so as not to let them get the best of us and cause unnecessary destruction in our lives and relationships. However, Sam commented,
“…Instead of seeking to “control” your emotions, what if you “aligned” your emotions? Align them with/toward a higher purpose, like God’s will, for example…”
His comment completely changed my perspective. Although we should seek to control our emotions and maintain a balance in our lives between emotion and logic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can. As humans, we will fail. We can’t expect to be able to completely control our naturally sinful selves. So first and foremost, we should align ourselves with Christ-like attitudes and beliefs, so that our emotions, our thoughts, and our actions will then, consequently, fall in line behind them (hopefully).
For example, Christ had many outbursts of emotion, such as when he got angry with the money-changers in the temple (Matt. 21:12). This was a healthy, righteous burst of anger in alignment with whole-hearted commitment to God’s will. God didn’t want money-changers in the church, so Christ got angry about it. So should we align our thought processes and emotions with the things that God wants for us.
Does this mean that we should strive for a balance that stifles self-serving, manipulative emotions and lets loose emotions that mean to further the Kingdom of Christ? I would say no. All emotions still must be reined in. Even emotions with good intentions, if let run wild, will still cause destruction if we fail to keep control of them. This is also not to say that we should bottle up emotions that are self-indulgent. Instead, we should let them go. They are not worth our time and energy, and will only lead us into destruction both personally and relationally.
But again, we are human, and because of this, we will fail in this area. We are emotional beings. So is God, and He understands that our sinful natures will sometimes cause something that was meant for good to go bad. He loves us for what we are, forgiving us of our sins when we ask it of him. Aren’t we lucky to have an emotional, loving, and merciful God?