Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Touchy Feely Matter.

Some of us are naturally inclined to being rather in tune with our emotions, while others of us are not. On occasion it seems like we feel everything with the sensitivity of that of a flower petal--completely exposed and aware. Other times, we are numb to everything: nothing feels like anything, and it almost appears as though we fear feeling. Too many of us make all of our decisions on the basis of our feelings, and others of us don't take them into consideration when making decisions.

We dance on extreme ends of the reality of emotions and feelings. Neither end of the continuum is healthy, and we really are challenged constantly to find the balance. Neither end is safe or sound. A number of us feel ashamed for feeling too much, and others of us think we're weird for not feeling enough.

Feelings and emotions help us find commonality, but they also have the capacity to be a mechanism that brings about ostracism. These feeilngs can be rooted in believing lies that we've been told or that we have believed about those around us, but they also have the immense power of affirming what is true!

In the midst of experiencing what we feel when we hear the lies, it is imperative that we ask ourselves what is true. Emotions in light of these moments too often lead us into a posture of wallowing and thinking that is very narrow-minded, self-centered, self-degrading, and self-destructive. Those emotions completely undermine the freedom and truth found in the powerful work of  Jesus that has already taken place in our lives. Lies and defeat have no room in our lives--and absolutely no power in our lives.

The beauty in emotions is found in the very moments when they affirm what is true.  This is not to say that all that is true is joyous and a cause for celebration. Tears from one who grieves, laughter from one who rejoices, sorrow from one who experiences death of a loved one, joy and relief from one who has experiences freedom, righteous anger towards injustice, etc.. These are all very real processes. We aren't meant to ignore what we feel but rather ask the Lord what it is that He wants to show us through them. What is He trying to teach us? What is He trying to show us of Himself?

We are not to live without emotions, but our emotions should not drive how we live. Emotions are a gift--that which allows us to experience and feel and be very much alive. They weren't meant to reap and sow destruction. The combination of emotions and sound mind produces a lovely depiction of a healthy and thriving soul whereas the combination of emotions and confusion produces a portrait of chaos and angst.

Father, show us Your heart. Give us the strength to sit in what we feel as you teach us to surrender what we feel to You. Give us your strength so that we don't run from what we need to face. Teach us to walk in the freedom of knowing You--that we would see ourselves as You see us. Refine what we feel and the ways in which we feel, so that our actions and our responses reflect your Spirit in us. We pray for clarity and sound mind, and we ask for hearts that are sensitive to You. 

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