Blaming Emotions

I'd like to address this issue of maligning emotions - as if they are inherently bad.  "But you were emotional when you responded!"  Sounds like an accusation or something.  I wish we could get over this concept that emotions are wrong.  That we must float through life robotic-like - oh, no, not really - with plastic smiles plastered across our from-here-on-out robotic affect.

I wrote a bit about this in a previous post (Two lies that burn holes in relationships), and received some feedback from an insightful relative.  I asked her permission to post her thoughts here as I thought they warranted a broader audience.  She says it better, and with more credibility than I could!

Thank you so much for your helpful insights, and good observations about those two lie-beliefs regarding emotions! I've been fascinated with the topic of emotions and feelings for a LONG time. Here are just a few brief comments, on a few random observations that seem true to me, about emotions. I would love to hear your honest feed back about them. I didn't know if you'd want them posted as a comment to your post, so, here they are. People often react against emotions, feelings, or tears. Perhaps that is because our own and another person's emotions are not at all easy to figure out. Emotions seem to be very connected to our hearts. We often find it very difficult to figure out, then explain clearly or accurately what we are feeling and why. We are often oblivious to the many things that are going on in our hearts, and we often do not know the REAL reasons why we are feeling what we are feeling emotional about... It gets confusing, to say the least. I've often heard people say things like, "Don't believe your feelings, or your emotions." And, yet it doesn't seem to be our emotions that we are usually believing. Emotions are just emotions, not beliefs. It is the lie-belief that is causing the emotion, that I should not believe... Emotions are a gift from God. Designed by Him, for His very good purposes. One benefit they provide is, our emotions alert us to the fact that there is some kind of problem that needs our attention, our help. E.g. Sometimes someone IS being sinned against, and they need to ask the person to stop sinning against them. If the person won't listen/repent, Jesus instructed us to, take 1 or 2 other people with us, etc. Yes, God's Word does speak of overlooking a matter, also. Rather than just try to ignore the emotions, or stuff them, it seems good to let your emotions, or the other person's emotions, alert you to take that pain to our Father in Heaven, asking Him for His perspective on it. Asking Him for wisdom to know what the REAL cause is, and what to do about that. If the pain SEEMS to come from another person's sinful, self-absorbed, unkind behavior, talk to God about it. He wants and welcomes us to take EVERYTHING to Him with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving... He welcomes us to "pour out your heart before Him." We can ask Him for wisdom and discernment to know, whether this is something He just wants me to learn from, and what He wants me to learn. Or, whether He wants me to love them enough to help them recognize and turn from that sinful, self-absorbed behavior. Considering, for example, the fact that they may well hurt, offend, damage other people by sinning against them in that same way, also... Sometimes a person's emotions reveal that they are believing a lie. We, or they need to be set free, by discovering the truth that will set us/them free. It seems like a sincere love for them, would want to choose to help them, discover just what that lie is, and helping them find the truth that will set them free. Or, genuine love for them, would want to help them discover Jesus' ways of responding to being sinned against... Which includes, but is not limited to forgiving the person whose sinful, self-absorbed ways, have caused me much pain. The pain that comes with being sinned against, as well as the pain that comes with not experiencing anyone who cares about that pain, can become fertile ground for many a very destructive lie-belief to get planted deeply in people's hearts... It's fascinating and sobering to think about the FACT that we do NOT experience the other person's pain, and they do not experience ours. We only have their emotions, or facial expressions, that give us clues to the fact that they ARE feeling something... Many of the ways that we respond, or react to other people's emotions, effectively program them to hide their hearts from us, for fear of us treating them that way again... this hiding of our hearts, ruins relationships, and can even cause people to believe that not even God cares about how they are feeling. A very dangerous lie-belief, that causes people to make very destructive decisions, as they walk away from God, and from the people who "prove" that they don't care, by the way they treated that person. Depending on how we respond, or react, we often cause people to clam-up, hide their hearts from us, even lock up their hearts, believing the lie, that no one will ever care about the hurt that I am feeling! Responding wrongly to a person's emotions, often prevents us from being able to effectively helping them. Caring about another person's emotions, respecting their emotions, and the fact that something has caused them pain, is something that many people long to experience, but many never have...

- Elaine Ferguson


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