Emotions are gifts from God. They contribute to our imago dei, or our likeness in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Just as Christ experienced a vast spectrum of emotions, we will also live through all kinds of ups and down while on earth.
So, how do we handle our emotions in a way that allows us to feel them fully, yet remain controlled by the Holy Spirit?
Here are four ideas for embracing emotions as Christians.
- Don’t ignore them. Although Christians are called to live with self-control (Gal. 5:23), that doesn’t mean we don’t have the liberty to be honest with how we feel. I recommend journaling (something I’ve committed to doing recently), as it will give you the opportunity to work out some of those inner musings.
- Process them through prayer. Emotions are best controlled through the leash of prayer. Sometimes they need restraint – a restraint provided by submitting them to the Spirit of God.
- Ask questions of trusted individuals. Experienced believers have felt many emotions, so they are great resources when we wonder about our feelings. Sometimes they simply give us someone to relate to, while in other instances they might provide wisdom and direction.
- Express them by reading the Psalms. The Psalms are a collection of beautifully written, emotional poems. Many of the Psalms are written from a heart that’s pouring out raw sentiments.
God is a good father who can handle all of your emotions. Trust His warm embrace, and allow Him to minister to your soul when you’re feeling anything from turmoil to overwhelming joy.