Speaking the Truth in Love
Emotion in religion has a wide range today. It spans from people thinking it is wrong to be emotional at all, to those who are completely overcome by their emotions to the point where they loose all their ability to have self control or reasoning. We would like to look at what the Bible tells us about the proper place for emotions.
A. Jesus with the Rich Young Ruler - Mark 10:17-31
B. Jesus with the raising of Lazarus - John 11:30-45
C. The loving woman - Luke 7:37-50
D. Simon the sorcerer - Acts 8:14-24
E. The Ethiopian Eunuch - Acts 8:35-40
F. The return of the prodigal son - Luke 15:17-24
G. Emotions moving people in life today:
1. Those who rescued people during the World Trade Center disaster. The scriptures teach us that we are to feel emotions toward our fellow man (Galatians 6:10) and our brethren in Christ (Philippians 2:1-4, 1 John 3:16-17).
2. A child: (Matthew 18:3-4)
a. When they have realized they have lied to their parents
b. When he or she has let someone down (children naturally have and show emotions)
c. When he or she has faced a tough challenge (they cry and it is OK to cry)
3. A parent: (Ephesians 6:4)
a. When they have realized they were unfair to their child. When they humble themselves and tell their child they have made a mistake, many times the emotions of love for that child come flowing out.
b. When they see their child do their best. The pride of a parent is filled with emotions. The pride is also great when they have witnessed their child doing their best, only to be defeated. Then the emotions of pride and the emotions of consolation, work together to comfort the child.
4. When a person has to leave loved ones that they may not see for a very long time (Acts 20:36-38).
5. When two people fall in love. Emotions need to be coupled with understanding of God's Will. A good thought is to marry someone who will help you get to Heaven! (Matthew 19:4-6).
6. A Christian when they have just realized they have wronged a brother or a neighbor, not meaning to. The emotion of sorrow and embarrassment work together to cause the Christian to take action and ask the wronged person and God for forgiveness (James 5:16, 1 John 1:9).
7. A young boy or girl, when they first understand what Jesus Christ went through for them. The emotions of sorrow that He died and the emotion of hope because He loved us all so much. These work together to cause that young person's heart to be driven to repentence and a life of service to the loving King (Luke 10:13).
8. A person (young or old) who is not a Christian, when they realize that they are in sin and they need to do something about it. We see this in Acts 2:37-47. Emotions mixed with understanding, bring about obedient action.
The Bible gives us a good description of the proper place for emotions in our life. The examples that we have looked at teach us that we all need our emotions. The Bible also shows that these emotions are to be mixed with an understanding of God's Will. This causes people to be moved to obedience. When people understand that Jesus came and died for all mankind (Hebrews 10:10), that all mankind is in sin (Romans 3:23), and that without Jesus we would have no hope of forgiveness (John 14:6), we need to listen to our emotions. These include the sorrow we feel from our sin, the relief we have that Jesus has provided the only way to be forgiven, and the hope of being in Heaven eternally. Does the gospel of Jesus Christ cut to your heart? What are your emotions telling you tonight? Listen to those emotions and let them move you to obeying Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, and Ruler of all. Then you can enjoy the same feeling of being freed from your sin and the hope of Heaven that the Ethiopian Eunuch felt (Acts 8:39). Do not wait or procrastinate; tomorrow may never be!
We hope to see you next time on Speaking The Truth In Love!