Thursday, March 26, 2015

Can These Emotions Be Okay?

Hey Friend,

I must start this post by asking for your grace and mercy.  For the past week - ten days, Zoe, my senior pup, has been very ill.  I've been up with her most nights.  I've also had some health problems of my own and am quite concerned and worried about the situation in Pakistan.  My brain has been scattered and I imagine my words will be too, but if you can bear with me, maybe together we can gain some insight on this topic.

I know it was not coincidence that the night before I was to write about the topic of emotions, I had a knock-down-drag-out argument with my adult daughter.  I won't bore you with the gory details, but unfortunately I unleashed unresolved anger and resentment toward my ex-husband upon my daughter.  In her words and actions toward me, she was being (in my mind) just like him...thoughtless, disrespectful, unappreciative, callous and rude.  The venomous tongue lashing I unleashed was totally over the top and uncalled for. 

We'll talk more about this, but anger in and of itself is not "bad".  It is a valid emotion, but when left unchecked and unresolved, it can leave destruction in its path. It's what we do with the anger that matters.  I know I blew it!!

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.  (Proverbs 29:11)

As believers we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we are also filled, to a degree, with our own sinful spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Sadly, I was the fool who gave rise to my own sinful spirit (a fool gives rise to his spirit). I did not run my wrath through the filter of scripture and discern what is good and acceptable in God's sight.  What I let fly was foul, selfish, fool- fruit instead of the fragrant fruit of the Holy Spirit...BIG difference. I have since apologized and asked for forgiveness...

Before, however, we go condemning all emotions as bad or destructive...let's give this some thought.  I have always been an "emotional" person.  That's not to say I have more emotions than any one else, I just tend to let my emotions show more. Early on it was engrained in me to not "wear my emotions on my sleeve."  I was raised in a family of stoics.  Later on in life I was directed to books that talked about "managing" or "controlling" your emotions like they were in essence not okay, but bad. 

When God created each of us, He created us in His own image.  He breathed His very Spirit into us.

I believe that if we are made in God's image, then God must have emotions too.  One day I will know fully...

I believe that our emotions were originally intended to help us enjoy, serve, and relate to God.  They give us insights about the Nature of God.  They reveal our character and the nature of our relationship with God as we struggle to live in a broken world.  Example:  Sadness and anger are appropriate emotions to feel as we live in a world full of man's inhumanity to man.  I believe that God weeps when genocide is repeated decade after decade, generation after generation.

God created perfect man with perfect and valid's when they got mixed with sin (that man brought upon himself) that they gained the potential of turning ugly through our actions. 

Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Jesus - fully God and fully man - was sad and joyous and angry.   In Matthew, Jesus experienced righteous anger when He overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple.  He shared in joy at the wedding feast when, with His first miracle, He turned water into wine.  In the Garden of Gethsemane (before His arrest), Jesus didn't just shed a few tears.  No, with loud cries of prayer and supplication He shed tears of fear, sadness, and anguish at His Father's feet.  Facing an excruciating death on the cross, I can only imagine the emotions He must have been feeling??!!

Look up how many times Jesus wept...He let his feelings be known...

John 11:35:  Jesus wept.
Luke 19:41:  And when he (Jesus) drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.

Jesus claimed that if you have seen Him, then you have seen the Father.  Looking at Jesus and the depth of emotion that He poured out over the people He loved...the pious and the prostitutes, I believe we get a glimpse into the very soul of God.

Back to my anger issue...Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be angry and do not sin; don't let the sun go down on your anger.

To me, that says, go ahead and feel angry AND do not sin.  This tells me, I can be angry and still NOT sin at the same time.  Some of my anger may have been justified, but my response, my actions certainly were not.

So what's a person to do?

I like this quote by Reneau Peurifoy: "Yielding to the Holy Spirit transforms your inner being into what God intended it to be.  As this occurs, your emotions, desires and thoughts are transformed so they function more closely to what God intends."

Lord, thank you for creating me in Your image.  Enable me to let go of my sinful spirit and yield to Your Holy Spirit so that my emotions, desires, and thoughts are transformed by Your love to be what you intended. Help me to accept my God-given emotions AND to not sin at the same time.  Thank you for your grace and forgiveness when I slip up.  In Jesus' name.  Amen 

Be blessed...

ps. Update on Redeemer Christian School:  Reports out of Pakistan say that after the two tandem suicide bombing attacks on churches by Taliban forces, an angry mob of hostile Christians attacked and killed two supposed accomplices to the bombers.  (This is what happens when sin is attached to emotion).  Now Christians (many of whom were not affiliated with the attack in any way) are being rounded up, arrested and sentenced to long jail terms or worse.  Tensions are VERY high right now.  Please pray: for the safety of RCS staff and their families as well as the children.  May God provide a hedge of protection around them and protect the innocent!!  Now, more than ever, we could use your prayers and financial support.  Thank you.


  1. Such good wisdom, as always, on how are emotions can be good and bad. I so dislike when I see those not-so-good emotions happening but do not yield to Him to stop them before they escalate. And seriously I can so see it coming but . . .
    There are those good emotions too. Like when I was praying for us as a family and could not hold back tears. We can want to hide those emotions but they are real, so why hide them?

    Praying for you, your Zoe, and for the Redeemer Christian School. Thank you, friend, for your beautiful heart.


    1. Beth,
      You're right...these emotions sometimes come like tidal waves that we feel helpless to stop...but that's our red flag to YIELD! Praying I get better at this! I think your tears as you prayed over your family are beautiful...I would not stop a single one from rolling down your cheeks - nor would God. Thank you so much for all your prayers and for your loving and kind heart!
      Love and ((hugs)),

  2. Hi Bev,

    I'm so sorry about Zoe. Dogs become part of the family. Praying for you all.

    You made some VERY good points about emotions. I would like to add a couple of points about anger. Anger can be a gift because it can be a catalyst for right wrongs Anger can be a clue that God is going to work out something in us for our change.because He would like to heal us. Anger can also be an indication we have too much stress and we need to make some either perception and expectation changes, or make some changes of things we can control. Anger can also be a clue to an underlying emotion that is wanting to be dealt with instead of stuffed or simmering under the surface. There are other truths about anger, but I can't think of them right now. But when I understood these good things about anger, that put a whole new look to Be angry and sin not, and don't let the sun go down on your anger. It helps to look at the why's of anger and gives understanding to get to the root of anger.

    Now yes, anger can also be self centered, and all about me, or misguided, but it is an indication to good things to come if we pay attention to why we are angry. Anger is not meant to bleed all over other people, but anger can also be a way we become closer and bond when we take ownership of what we have done to hurt another. Our children can learn a lot from us how to deal with conflict, and our emotions, and to be humble and ask for forgiveness when we have messed up. I have a lot of practice in that area!

    A useful tool is paying attention to our body's responses when we feel angry and when we feel angry and know it will go somewhere we don't want it to go, then say stop either out loud or to ourselves, and take a breather or a timeout. It gives us time to make a speedbump to find out what is at the root and reflect on what is really going on and then where to go from there. That's where the yield to the Spirit comes in, because at least in my experience, He's trying to get my attention with His thoughts in my head, and redirect me so I make better choices with my actions and with my words.

    I have to really practice this because kids who have had trauma try to control by unconsciously, and sometimes consciously doing things to get the caregiver angry, and then they have created chaos, and have become in control. It's in their minds safe,it doesn't serve a useful purpose anymore, and they are too little to be in control. Then they don't have to bond with an angry parent. And God put parents in charge, not my kids. I'm not 100% there by any stretch of the imagination.

    Thank you for your transparency. I love the honesty of your posts!

    {{Hugs and Love}}


    1. Joanne,
      my emotions right now are on overload with events hitting so close to home in the mid-east. Please pray for peace and for safety for all concerned over there. Due to recent events, I have not been able to sleep or eat...I feel so distraught and I covet your prayers!! I know you are a good prayer warrior my friend. You are such a blessing to me and have such good words of wisdom...
      Love always,
      Bev xx

    2. Jesus, Cover Bev with Your peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, cover Your people living in Pakistan with peace and protection. Guard their hearts and minds so they are able to rest in you, placing their life in Your Hands. You are mighty to save, and mighty to keep Your people at rest, and not a life is lost that is not precious to You. Jesus Your peace are fighting words. Lord let their walking, eating, sleeping, be be surrounded by Your warrior angels, and under the shadow of Your wings. Let them rest because you love them, and let them be at peace because You have their life in Your plan for good and not for evil. Lord, Satan meant those bombings for evil, but You will bring good from this like you have time and time again, like Job, and like when you were tortured and died on the Cross. You know their sufferings because You did suffer. You were fully human when You when chose to die for us. Let us also remember our brothers and sisters to give them courage and remember as if we were there with them. Let Your loving Presence surround them, envelope them by Your angel armies life you mention in Psalm 139, and in Peter, surrounded, garrisoned, guarded. But Jesus, You will bring glory to Yourself, and You will bring Justice. Let Your people be such an example now that these people influenced by the evil one will be swayed by Your love shown by Your people by forgiveness, steadfastness, peace, mercy, and love. Let Your Presence and Your love bring those committing the atrocities to repentance, and let those marvel that only the Lord could have done this. Provide for the needs of Your people, create a deep trust of You, in You. Let them abide in You the vine. Let Bev do this too, and let her trust be in You, and in not what she sees, You are still working no matter what our visible realm shows, and I know that to be true. Pray what our hearts cannot express because You are constantly interceding for us before Your, our Father, and let Your Holy Spirit pray the words we can't express with the groaning and when You pray, it is done. Please also pray what we don't know what to pray, and answer before we get the words out of our mouths. Break our hearts with what breaks Your heart, and stamp eternity in front of our eyes. We need You, and we need Your face, and Your hand. In Your Name Jesus, Amen.

      Bev, I will continue to pray. Love, Joanne

    3. Bev, I wish I could be there at your home and just hold your hand and listen, and pray with you over a mug of coffee, in be tween hugs. Love, Joanne

    4. Dearest Joanne,
      How I wish we could be would be good to feel your hand and your hug. You are such a wonderful listener and your prayer above is so comforting and so beautiful. Thank you for the words of peace you prayed over the whole situation and those involved including me. You are an awesome prayer warrior...I can't thank you enough for your prayers and support. Yes, please keep praying...
      I love you dear friend...
      Bev xx

  3. Bev, I'm so sorry about your dog and your fight with your daughter. I pray God will give you grace to apologize and smooth things over. (even if she was being rude.) I never thought about emotions giving us more insight into the character of God. That's true! May the Lord give us victory when our emotions threaten to trip us up.

    1. Betsy,
      Yes, it has been very trying lately, but it keeps me running back into the secure and steady arms of my Heavenly Father. Yes, may the Lord give us victory when our emotions threaten to trip us up.
      Blessings and ((hugs)),

  4. Bev, I am so touched to read your words today...Keeping quiet when angry has been a big issue for me--not as much before I had kids, but now w/ 4 of them and home all the time (we homeschool). I love the picture of that verse in Proverbs 29 about a fool giving full vent to his anger, and I will spend some time studying that. I also appreciate Joanne's comment above, about needing to stop and ask why the anger is there. Often, I will realize later that I'm holding something against one of my boys, so it's an issue of unforgiveness that I have to deal with first. Anyway, thanks again for this...visiting from #RaRaLinkup today! ~Angela Parlin

    1. Angela,
      I so appreciated your post this morning and being able to join in the linkup! What a great group of ladies you have coming together! I don't know how you do it with four at home and homeschooling? You are a saint in my book. I have been that "fool" on many occasions giving vent to my anger, but God is convicting me of it and lovingly urging me toward change. Thanks so much for stopping are always welcome here :)


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