Emotions can be defined as an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced or a strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others or instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge
         Emotions themselves are not evil. In fact, the reason the Psalms mean so much to us is that the writers of the psalms wrote about every emotion we will ever experience. We relate to the Psalms because the emotions we experience in life are similar to those the psalmist experienced.

God was not stingy in bestowing the gift of emotions. He was not only generous, but we are rich in emotional responses. They come in infinite combinations of types and intensities. There are the good emotions of the heart produced by the Holy Spirit and godly living. (See Galatians 5:22,23.) And there are the damaging, sinful, defeating emotions that come from sinful practices, failure, guilt, and wrong thinking. Just as we may experience physical pain or pleasure, so we have the capacity to experience emotional pain or pleasure. We can experience the mountain tops of emotional ecstasy and also the devastating emotions that seem to totally overwhelm us. God gives us the ability to feel pain, joy, and a host of other emotions. 

Much of what we do or experience in life involves the emotions. Often when we sin the emotions are involved and behind those emotions are sinful thoughts and attitudes. We often manifest sin and failure in our emotional responses. And sin that is UN-confessed and UN-forsaken will effect us emotionally.
It isn’t that we should consider our emotions in a negative way. We are so accustomed to hearing the phrase emotional problems, that we may think that all our emotions are a bother and we‘d be better off without them. But that is not the case. It is just that there are negative emotions we need to consider. We also need to praise God for the healthy, fulfilling and joyous emotions which we experience as well.

In what ways do we respond to our emotions?
Often, we try to ignore our feelings or emotions. This seems to be a popular approach taken by some Christian writers who see our emotional make up as a hindrance to our spiritual progress. Emotions ought not be an embarrassment to us or an unwanted part of life. Some would say we should believe facts and ignore our feelings. This would mean we are to deny our feelings. This encourages us to suppress our negative emotions rather than benefit from them. Husbands often develop insensitivity toward their wives because they have heard so often they should not show their emotions. Maybe from the time they were small boys they were told that men don’t cry. Such men have learned to suppress feelings and now as adults they don’t know how to show any emotions of affection and love to their wives. 

I have known angry people who deny their emotions of anger; they are unable to admit to such feelings, believing that such an admission would be the same as confessing spiritual carnality. Others deny their hostility, bitterness, or sorrow. Thinking Christians should not have such feelings or emotions, they insist that they are free from them. The result is deep feelings often smolder beneath the surface of their personalities. Some are at the boiling stage and yet they will not admit their condition.
There are others who have gone the opposite direction-- their feelings are the very focus of their lives.

If we follow our feelings and our sensually focused desires we will fulfill our animal, sinful urges and will bring ruin and chaos to our lives. Emotions, physical senses and desires can be like headstrong steeds . . . you have to keep the reins firmly in hand.
Then there may be times we seek to insulate ourselves from emotions. Maybe we have been deeply hurt by someone so we endeavor to stay away from that person or any similar circumstances. Not only our perception, but our evaluations of what we perceive causes our emotions and our reactions which are sometimes so very sinful.
Some people seem to be emotionally controlled in many ways. They may be high-strung, anxious, fretful, worrying-type people. Often because of pride we can be controlled by our feelings. The predominate reaction may be manifested in angry outbursts, bitterness, holding grudges, resentments, and unforgiving attitudes.
Behind our sinful actions of anger, bitterness, wrath, envy, jealousy, worry, fear, selfishness, self-pity, etc., are not only the thoughts and self-talk involved, but also the emotional responses or feelings that we so easily surrender to or seek to fulfill. 

The conflicts marriage partners experience are usually evident in emotional responses. There is the clash of wills, the quarrels, the competition and contentions so many couples live out and thus bring about hell on earth in their daily lives. They not only think wrong but then yield to their emotional urges and sensual desires and continue to bring about failure and hurt. 

But we can have daily, God-controlled emotional responses. When the Christian allows the Holy Spirit to fill and control he will be different. We are to live a supernatural Christian life. We are to be living the kind of life that proves the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in the daily nitty-gritty of life. If we allow Him to control He will be the dynamic for the control of our emotions. When the Holy Spirit controls the life of the Christian He will bring healing to our emotional sorrows and failures. (See Ephesians 5:18-21.)
Praise God for the twelve fruits of the spirit that we can experience and live in daily life. Not only the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit as given in Galatians 5:23, 24, but also the three fruits given in Ephesians 5:18-21. He will cause us to have a song in the heart, ( vs 19), a thankful heart (vs 20), and a submissive spirit (vs 21). 

Biblical truth about our emotions.
1. God, as our Creator, has endowed us with emotional capacities that are similar to His own since we are created in His image. When we read the Word of God and search out truth about God’s emotions we will find that He was sorry (Gen. 6:6), became weary of hypocrisy (Isa. 1:11-14), and of course manifested anger against sin.
Christ, who is and was God in flesh, expressed sorrow (John 11:35), anger (Mark 3:5), frustration (Luke 9:41), amazement (Luke 7:9), and joy (Heb. 12:2). Christ did not deny His emotions but revealed them and yet without sin.
We need to affirm the fact that emotions are gifts from God. They do become problems to us when we manifest our emotions in sinful ways.
2. Since we are created in God’s image we are beings that have physical, spiritual and emotional unity. With our bodies we relate to our physical environment, with our spirits we have fellowship with God, and with our emotions we can be affected by either the heavenly or earthly relationships. Our souls, given of God, include our capacity of will or volition, thoughts or reasoning and emotions or feelings.
When we consider the impact of emotions in life resulting from our thoughts, decisions and experiences -- they can include terrible guilt, tremendous loss and sorrow, or relief, satisfaction and joy. We can, through salvation and freedom from sin, also have a heart that is clean, free, and lighthearted.
Physical illness affects our emotional equilibrium. And the reverse is also true: our emotions can affect our physical health. Many diseases are considered psychosomatic: the physical ailment is caused by emotional disorders. For example, we cannot live with guilt, anger, or bitterness without it exacting an enormous physical penalty -- it can cause everything from ulcers to backaches.
Doctors tell us that 60-80 percent of the diseases that people experience are emotionally induced illnesses. They are brought about by emotional upsets, or prolonged sin in the life. Dr. S. I. McMillen M. D. says in his book, None of These Diseases, that there are fully 51 different physical problems people bring upon themselves because of harbored sin that tears them up emotionally and has a profound impact upon the body.
Emotions have far more impact upon our lives than what we think. And often behind these emotions are thoughts that produce the emotional responses.
3. God created us with emotions so that our lives might be enriched, not to bring problems that we must endure. We are not, praise the Lord, cold, calculating, intelligent, and insensitive machines. If there was no sorrow, there would also be no joy. What would life be without anticipation, comfort, laughter, the ecstasy of lovers and the sympathy of friends? Life would be empty and dull without emotions. Our emotions were not given to control us, but so we might be able to enjoy life. We would not be better off if we were free of them.
But we still need to know how to have victory over the control of defeating, negative, sinful, hurtful emotional responses.
4. God allows our emotions to be what they are so we through our emotional responses can detect what we need to change. I may recognize that I am depressed, resentful, irritated, discouraged, despondent, or bitter. These very emotions and the thoughts involved should make me aware that there are things I need to change. I need to recognize which sinful thinking and attitudes are helping to produce my sinful emotional responses.
Our negative emotions such as bitterness, rejection, and anger are to not to be ignored. In fact, emotional pain may tell us that all is not well with our spiritual life. Emotional stability can be ours only through our relationship to God rather than dependence on any physical or chemical stimuli.

Briefly then, what should we do with our emotions?
The answer is to
 1) admit to ourselves and to God how we feel (sometimes we should also admit our feelings to others too,) and
 2) ask ourselves: Why do I feel the way I do? And even more importantly, 
3) find out what the Bible teaches so that we will have divine direction for managing our fluctuating feelings. A study of Psalm 42 and 43 will help you to focus on how emotions can be so changeable and that our thoughts can tremendously impact our emotions.
4) we need to realize emotional wholeness follows obedience and not vice versa. Many people do not obey God’s Word because they think they must feel like it first; that is, they think unless they obey with emotional exhilaration and joy, they are guilty of hypocrisy. 

This is not true. Do you think that Christ felt like going to the cross? The thought and anticipation of His death did not give Him emotional pleasure. Yet in the end He experienced the emotional satisfaction and joy of doing the Father’s will. His joy followed obedience to the Father’s will; it did not precede it. (See Heb. 12:2.) 

Last Word: Manage  your emotions...never allow your emotions to manage you!


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