[Emotions Fact 4]: Our Emotions Can Become Our More-Than Outcome
If our emotions are filtered and re-directed through truth, logic and reason, we can become energized by hope, empowered by the Spirit, and educated by what we have experienced and felt as a result. This decision to choose the stability of truth, logic and reason versus the instability of emotional turmoil lifts our spirit and provides us with hope even when our emotions reflect something entirely different. When our emotions are paired with God’s truth and purpose we can become an unstoppable force for the goodness and greatness of His Kingdom. Tell yourself the truth about God’s plans, promises and intentions for your life – His outcome for you, is to become MORE-THAN and never LESS-THAN through Him.
Proverbs 12:5, 15:28
A good man’s mind is filled with honest thoughts; an evil man’s mind is crammed with lies.
A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought.
The righteous will move onward and forward; those with pure hearts will become stronger and stronger.
And so the Lord has paid me with his blessings, for I have done what is right, and I am pure of heart. This he knows, for he watches my every step.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
[emotions commonly defined]: a natural instinctive state of mind, deriving or determined from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others; instinctive, protective, or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or factual knowledge; overwhelming feelings
[University Psychology Majors Were Asked – What are Emotions?]:
1. Having strong feelings about someone or something.
2. A sensory reaction to a situation, place, person, or thing.
3. Becoming extremely offended over online conversations to the point of all caps.
4. Over dramatizing little problems. AKA “a dramatizer”
5. An odd state of confusion, usually resulting in either some form of mania or depression.
6. A terrible disease that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time.
[emoji phenomenon]: Originally, emojis were created as symbolic representation of emotions. Similar to punctuation, emojis are used to express emotion – irony or humor – and to substitute body language and tone of voice in text and social-media based communication. Amazingly we have morphed into a culture nearly incapable of navigating human relationships in real-time and in reality. Ironically, we continue to proclaim a desire to have honest conversations about life, faith, hate, hope, poverty, power, justice, success and failure. Yet, those conversations never really happen, and we are increasingly polarized by what we feel. Instead we weaponize our emotions and immediate feelings with rapid fire impulses and interpretations from our safer and lesser-than “emojicon lexicon.” It seems that we don’t want human dialogue we want only for someone acknowledge and feed how we feel without consequence – so we post and tweet an emoji sad face – angry face – confused face – crying face – fear face – it’s all good face – worried face – hurt face – sick face – your an idiot face – etc, etc… Do you feel me dog?
Sadly, we are so lost in our feelings of how we feel about how we feel about ourselves that it misleads and dominates most digital communication and social media interaction – it is truly LESS-THAN God intended. So, we have embraced the emojicon lexicon. Is it harmless and helpful? In many ways, yes. Is it harmful and helpless? In the context of being MORE-THAN in our emotions I believe the answer is also YES.
Is it helping people find truth and reality within the cascade of critical and valuable feelings and emotions needed to communicate goodness and hope? Or, is it one more step towards us to becoming LESSER-THAN? Less-than the God created world, and lost-inour feelings dominant world. A world void of righteous or absolute truths, but filled with unrealistic reasoning, expectations and ruled by personally preferred logic. Is this us conquering or us being conquered?
Is this us being MORE THAN or us becoming LESS THAN?
Are we looking at the face of what I describe as a new and dominant emo-centric global language? Check this article out…
The world can sigh with relief – a set of 72 new emojis is coming soon, among which are the (much needed) avocado, selfie and facepalm. New additions to the Unicode Standard – the character coding system that supports emoji rendering on different platforms – always generate a surge of joy on social media. It seems that we can never get enough of those funny icons. And the latest research shows that the appeal of emojis goes well beyond younger users alone – in fact, more than 80% of adults in the UK now use them in their text messages, while a whopping 40% admit to having mastered the fine art of emoji only messaging.
Social Media Today
[emotions and Holy Spirit]: The MORE-THAN alternative is here with us – THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is a creator, teacher and guide to our emotions. Since the presence of the Holy Spirit is internal, the work of the Spirit of God is emotional. Here is an example to illustrate the point:
As believers/followers of god’s Kingdom we are engaged in the day to day journey of faith, where the Spirit of God is present in real-time, to supply the needed hope, joy and peace that teaches us moment by moment about what we are feeling and navigating us through the circumstances and events of that day.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Paul (the writer) related a believer’s (us) emotional life to the active presence of the Father, and the Spirit. The God of hope is present in very tangible ways to fill us with a complete menu of joy, peace and comfort within our processes of living by faith and walking in the Spirit (I can’t walk in the Spirit if I am not filled with the Spirit). All of this is to be done by the active and present power of the Holy Spirit. So important to know the Holy Spirit is powerfully present and available – not absent and unavailable to what we are feeling in the moment by moment process of our journey. The process of stabilizing and healing and generating and re-generating these emotions is completely connected to and the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in us.
Galatians 5, is a longer example of the same reality – the Holy Spirit is an active presence to help teach, navigate and feed our emotional life.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
In this passage, Paul has contrasted the life of the Spirit with the death of the Law. More exactly, a corrupted version of the law embraced by the Judaizers. In developing how the believer is to participate in the life of the Spirit, he wrote that we Christians must walk by the Spirit (verse 16). “Walking,” in this context, means to organize our existence around the qualities and active presence of the Holy Spirit. As opposed to the “fleshing-out” or destructive approach to life.
As our life is organized and prioritized around the Spirit, we can then be positively prompted by these MORE-THAN virtues and qualities (verse 18). We are supposed to hear-listen-follow not ignore these promptings. As we follow they will generate productive and positive emotions and the inner strength needed in our life. Check out verses 22-23 (fruit of the Spirit): “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control …”
Spirituality is a life normally dominated by primary emotions—primary in the sense that these are what the Christian existence is founded upon – not hiding from. Important to notice how each term of the fruit of the Spirit carries with it an emotional connection.
The work of the Spirit of God in the fruit that he produces is in obvious contrast to the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21): …hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying… and similar things. Those contrasts to the fruit of the Spirit may be negative and sinful, but are also deeply emotional. The result is this:
The fruit of the Spirit replaces an emotionally powerful set of opposites.
The work of the Spirit is obviously intended for creating, teaching and guiding our emotions.
This evidence of the emotional impact of the Spirit of God is also found in Ephesians 5:18 where Paul tells the believers in Ephesus to not get drunk with wine resulting in self-indulgence (lesser-than). “I drink because I’m unhappy – I’m unhappy because I drink.” Instead we are told to allow our disappointments and deficiencies to be filled up by qualities and strength of the Holy Spirit. These result in a full heart of joy, gratitude and mutual submission. Both of those experiences have to be profoundly emotional.
Filling emphasizes applying the resources of the Spirit of God to our individual weaknesses. The teachable moment in Ephesians 5:18 is that the conditions of addictive-compulsive behaviors like drunkenness that mask or mirror hopelessness, anger, anxiety, sadness etc. Can be, has to be changed to joy, peace, love, goodness and self-control through the filling and active presence of the Holy Spirit. To become MORE-THAN in our emotions we are filled with the Spirit.
If it is true that the work of the Holy Spirit is uniquely involved with our emotions, then the work of the Spirit of God is profoundly psychological. Even though the Holy Spirit is a divine, mysterious presence, the Spirit of God occupies a strategic place within us. Holy Spirit functions at the confluence of our imagination, perspective, ego, and emotions. At this connection point the Spirit works synergistically with us. As we relate to God as a Father through our identity in Christ, deep change takes place through the Spirit of God. Now we can love God and others with all of our heart, soul, MIND ad strength. We are becoming MORE-THAN conquerors in our emotions through Christ who loved us.
[emotions takeaways]: Neither denial of our emotions nor blind obedience to them will result in well-developed personalities. We must go back to the Bible (truth, logic, reason) for some essential facts and principles about how to handle the business of our emotions in a godly and MORE-THAN manner.
1 – God has emotions and created us in His image with a similar emotional capacity. God is love, is joyful, is compassionate, is sorrowful, and yes, sometimes God is angry. As a human being, Jesus revealed to us the heart of God. He experienced and expressed sorrow, anger, frustration (Luke 9:41), disappointment and amazement (Luke 7:9), grief (John 12:39), and joy (Hebrews 12:2). Our emotional design and expression is one of the ways God’s image is seen in us.
2 – Human beings are physical, spiritual, and emotional. We connect to our environment with our bodies, and we connect to God through our spirits. Our emotions are affected by both connections. We simply cannot separate the different components of our natures into distinct and unrelated compartments. Just as we are able to experience physical pain or pleasure, we also have the capacity to experience emotional pain or pleasure – both are real. Imagine what it would be like to be intelligent, volitional beings without emotions. We’d be like computers, machines with no sensitivity, no ability to relate, no sorrows, and no joys. That doesn’t sound very appealing to me! Our emotions were given not to control us but to enable us to be MORE-THAN.
We often think we can solve our spiritual needs with a change in our physical circumstances. We take a little vacation. We shop Amazon and buy a whole new wardrobe. For some, escape involves dependence and co-dependence – porn, alcohol, gambling, drugs and so on. For others, it’s living for pleasure and self. But those are all temporary – in the long-term not the real deal. We are simply feeding symptoms—and often making our circumstances even worse in the process.
3 – God wants to heal our emotions by working through our spirits rather than by adjusting our circumstances. Escape never touches the root cause, which lies much deeper. God wants to heal the cause, not just relieve the symptoms of our emotional pain.
4 – God wants our emotional stability to be based on our relationship with Him rather than on physical or chemical stimuli. Clearly scripture says God is our great Healer – Christ Jesus is this provision. The bible is filled with characters who experienced difficult emotions—selfishness, guilt, fear, worry, inability to forgive, anger, envy, rejection, greed, pride, feelings of inferiority, disappointment, discontentment, grief, and loneliness. God’s solution is the active presence of His Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit helps us in real-time with these emotions, creating, teaching, and guiding. Finally, to be MORE-THAN in our emotions, we acknowledge and rest in the reality that God can perform His miracles within the fragile network of our day to day, moment by moment emotions. Leading to overcome any circumstance before us.
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The Lord builds up His people; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
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