Friday, February 12, 2010

emotions are not bad

Many things make me smile, a few things make me cry, a handful of things make me angry.  The list goes on, so do the emotions.  I have this to say today, no matter what range of emotions your are feeling, it isn't wrong to feel.  God created every one of those emotions in you and He has felt them as well. 

We were created in the image of a perfect God, created to commune with Him intimately.  Created in the likeness of God is more than just looks (I know, difficult to grasp, isn't it?).  Created in the image of God means that He created us to experience life WITH Him.  He could have chosen the animals for companions, they have no emotions and cannot even comprehend them.  He could have chosen the angels for companions but He wanted a deeper relationship.  So He chose us, fragile, often crazy, highly emotional humans to be His companions, His friends, His children. 

Often in Christianity we tend to only allow the good emotions to be felt.  We bottle up the others assuming that they are not what God wants of us.  Well, let me ask if you remember these times in Jesus' life.  Lazerus had just died and when Jesus received word of the death, He wept. He was sad. When the temple was being used for everything but worshiping God, Jesus turned over the tables and made quite a scene.  He was angry.  He prayed in the garden that God would take the cup (of dying a horrific death to save us from the fires of hell) from Him.  He was scared.  He cried out from the cross in pain but His true agony came when he cried out, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"  Jesus felt abandonment.

There is no emotion you are feeling today that God did not create.  There is no emotion you are feeling that He hasn't felt.  He knows happy, but we all assume He knows that.  He also knows hurt and anger.  The Bible never commands us to not get angry, it says, "In your anger, do not sin."(Psalm 4:4

My youngest son tonight looked at my husband and said, "I'm mad at you, Daddy!"  My husband smiled, hugged him and said, "That's ok.  I still love you."  It was that simple and yet so very profound.  I thanked him for loving our children the way God loves us.  Has any child in the history of existence not gotten mad at their parents?  As children of God, are we any different?  I'm glad my heavenly Daddy can say "That's ok and I still love you" when I tell Him I'm mad at Him.

 Yes, much to the horror and dismay of some people, I tell God when I'm mad at Him.  He's big enough to take it.  And He still loves us even when we are mad.  He gets it.  And He comforts us even when we are upset or hurt. Feel your feelings.  Feel the joy of the Lord being your strength.  Feel the hurt when life is overwhelming.  Feel the anger when life takes an ugly turn. Just don't sin while you are feeling the negative feelings.  Denying that you have feelings is denying the Creator that made you in His image and made you for intimate friendship with Him.

In other words, being a Christian doesn't mean that you have an constant smile and never hurt.  It means you serve a God big enough to handle it when you do hurt.  It means He gives us grace to handle the yucky stuff too.  It means He loves us enough to say, "That's ok. I still love you!"

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