May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:11)
Our emotions rule our world on a daily basis. They dominate our thoughts and they define who we are. When asked how we’re doing, we’ll often respond with an emotion. We are frustrated or upset, we’re struggling with anxiety or fear, we are excited or happily looking forward to something. Every day, we ride that roller coaster of emotions through the difficult depths and across the exhilarating peaks. Our days are often defined by how long we spend in each emotion - it’s a good day if we’re recounting the positive emotional experience, it’s a bad day if we’re focused on the negative emotions.
Our emotions can be windows into our hearts - they can our reveal what our hearts cling to and worship. If we dig down beneath our strong emotions, we will find our idols. Think about the strong emotions you’ve experienced over the past week. What caused you to be really excited or what were you looking forward to happening? What brought you happiness this past week? Or think about your disappointments and frustrations - what caused you to be annoyed or angry in the past few days? If anxiety was ruling your thoughts, think about what caused your fear to rise out of control. When you think about the important relationships in your life, why do some bring you joy and some are just so difficult for you? What caused you to feel envious over the past week?
Don’t just glide over those questions - take a moment to dig deeper. It is underneath those emotions that you will discover the true motivation of your heart. Honestly, how much of your celebration or your grief, of your anticipation or your anger had anything to do with the kingdom of God? As I sit in review of my life, so many of my emotions come from things going my way or not. So much of my happiness is derived from my expectations being met, so much of my frustration is the result of an unmet expectation, and so much of my anxiety is about things I cannot control.
Not all of my emotions stem from my selfish heart. I do know the joy of God’s grace, I have experienced the peace that comes from His presence, and I have felt the contentment of worshipping the Lord with all of my heart and mind. There is evidence of His transforming grace in my life, but there is room for so much more. Our emotions are evidence of the work yet to be done.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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