Friday, 12 April 2013

Emotions: Thinking About What We Feel

Betty-Anne Rees
Betty-Anne Rees wrote an insightful article for the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog.  She recognizes that most of us want to be happy.  She acknowledges that as painful as it may be; Christians recognize that happiness cannot come at the expense of holiness.
This is where our emotions can collide with God’s plan for our lives. 

So Ms. Rees suggests we question our emotions be they negative or positive, we can learn from both. It is sad for me to say but most often I learn more about myself when I’m experiencing a negative emotion.   For me a negative emotion normally signals I am suffering from a problem of the “heart”, i.e. my mind, will and emotions are out of sync with what God wants for me.

Here are some excellent questions we can ask ourselves when confronted with a negative emotion:

·       What is this ‘feeling’ telling you about yourself? About what you love or long for?  Am I upset because I didn’t get my way?  Am I not getting the respect or recognition I deserve?

·       What is it telling you about our world and the human experience?”  Am I learning that I cannot depend on others?  Am I expecting the world to live by my standards even though there is no reason to expect those of the world to do so?

·       What is it telling you about God?”  Am I accepting a lie, i.e. God doesn’t really love me or God is not all powerful, or that His way is not my way?

  How can the way you feel right now be used to move you toward God? What good change might it motivate in you?”  By remembering that even a sparrow is under God’s purview, that God is all loving and all powerful and that God wants only what is best for me.  I need to tell myself to “suck it up buttercup” and look for what the Lord wants me to learn.

·       How might Satan seek to use it to move you away from God?”  Satan is the father of lies and deception.  I know God has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) a plan not to harm me but to give me hope and a future.

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