Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Praise for the gift of bad emotions

I often think that we Christians think that so-called bad emotions are evil. But if they are so bad, why did God give us to them? The thing is to balance them and not be overpowered by them.

Consider the gift of fear:
We live in a media world which feeds our fear of disease, murder, chaos, poverty, etc. And so we are already primed to be taken over by fear. More often than not, we are afraid when we shouldn't be. And when we are afraid, we don't turn to God ...we turn to what the world says will save us: doctors, guns, a bigger raise in pay, etc. Not that those things are bad, but they aren't our true comforters.

The thing about fear is that in its pure pristine God-given form, it protects us. As I've said before, how many times have we not entered an elevator because something within us warns us against it. So we now must learn to learn how to discern true fear from false fear.

It's the same thing with all the other emotions. Think of all the good things that anger has accomplished. And certainly, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King could not have changed American history so much if not for the negative emotions of resentment and anger. Righteous anger. Emotions tell us something sane, hopeful, and right needs to be done. If we were happy about everything in life, would we try to change anything? Would Mother Theresa have gone to India to take care of the poor if a sad emotion hadn't oppressed her? Praise ye the Lord

1 comment:

cathikin said...

I like this, but I hadn't really thought about it before. It is all a question of balance. Conversely, the 'good' emotions would not be good if they are out of balance. Say if a person starts laughing at a fatal car wreck. You're right: God gave them to us to start with, and we just need to learn to use our emotions with discernment.

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