Monday Morning Commentary
The Bible makes it clear that we are emotional beings. We are meant to feel. God has given us emotions, and they serve a purpose.
In John 12:23-27, we see that Jesus feels. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he finds himself with a “soul (that) is troubled.” So what can we learn from Jesus about the purpose behind our emotions and how to manage them?
There are two ditches we fall into when it comes to our emotional life.
* Suppression: This is the place in which we choose to suppress our emotions. Perhaps we do so out of fear of what others may think or do if we express our feelings. Perhaps we do so because we’ve been taught not to allow our feelings to show. No matter the reason, suppressing our feelings is not healthy, nor is it God’s intended purpose.
* Slavery: We allow our emotions to rule over us and therefore, we become enslaved by our feelings. We make decisions, assumptions, and determinations based on what we feel. Slavery to our emotions is not healthy, nor is it God’s intended purpose.
Biblically, we need to understand that God has given us emotions to signal issues outside of us or within us that we must bring to the Lord. When we receive emotional signals, we must do what Jesus did and seek the Father.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus admitted his state of trouble, but he did not allow His emotions to define reality. Jesus understood that there is something deeper than emotions. Emotions reveal where or whom or what we are placing our significance. Instead of trying to escape His trouble, Jesus submitted His trouble to the Father. He became aware that “for this purpose I came to this hour.”
Listen to the signals of your emotions. Seek the Father for the purpose of the trouble. In Matthew 26:38, Jesus asks His disciples to pray with Him because His “soul is overwhelmed.” He expressed his emotional state. Then, he prayed. In prayer, He was able to hear and receive strength from the Father to endure the purpose of the trouble, the cross.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, you too will experience a “troubled soul” at times. Emotional troubles are to serve us. The Father will lead us to die to ourselves - the “soul” life that seeks to throw us into the ditches of suppression or slavery. He will lead us there to teach us how to live in between the ditches. “In between” is where we understand that we can only fight the troubles of life with the sword of faith.
It is as you surrender to the presence and the ways of the Lord that you find yourself living free to express your emotions and not be enslaved by them. Emotions have been given to draw you closer to the Father. Listen for His instruction so that His purposes can be fulfilled and His name can be glorified through your life. Just like Jesus, you can have a troubled soul, but not be overcome by