“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
A man once came to a preacher and said to him: ‘I was filled with joy in the meeting yesterday, and now it has all gone—all—and I do not know what to do. It is as dark as night.’ `I am so glad,’ was the reply. He looked at the servant of Christ with astonishment and said: ‘What do you mean?’ `Yesterday God gave you joy, and today He sees you are resting on your emotions instead of Christ, and He has taken them away in order to turn you to Christ. You have lost your joy, but you have Christ none the less. Did you ever pass through a railway tunnel?’
`Did you, because it was dark, become melancholy and alarmed?’
`Of course not.’
`And did you, after a while, come out again into the light?’
`I am out now,’ he exclaimed, interrupting the servant of Christ; ‘it is all right-feelings or no feelings.’— (Henry Durbanville)
Emotions are the inner feelings and passions associated with events, memories and experiences. Through our emotions we are able to express how we feel, giving a voice to our thoughts. God cares about our emotions, he is the one who created us with emotions in the first place. Emotions help us to connect and to express how we feel and what we are thinking, but sometimes we get into trouble when we allow our emotions to get the better of us especially the negative ones. For the most part, many people allow their emotions to be controlled by what they see happening on the outside but that should not be the case.
Our key verse tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, that means we have a choice in the matter, we can choose to rejoice and be glad even when things on the outside look gloomy.
Emotional intelligence has become something that is widely taught in the work place today and it is simply the ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
When you think about it, our Christian faith is all about emotional intelligence. The bible tells us things like “in your anger do not sin” validating the emotion but reminding us that we have control over the emotion and we should not allow it to drive us into sinful action. “Love your enemies and bless those who persecute you” That’s also something the bible teaches us. That is not the direction of action your emotions would lead you to do towards your enemies.
Our key verse is also another good example; “Rejoice in the Lord always…” How is that even possible with all the ups and downs we go through in life? Well if God tells us to do so, it means we have the capacity to do so. Left to run their own course, negative emotions like hate, anger, rage, hopelessness, fear, guilt and so on, become tools that the enemy uses to kill steal and destroy. May we make the choice to rejoice in the Lord always.
Which emotion usually gets the best of you driving you to do or say things you regret later? What are some positive emotions that drive you to do good especially towards others? Which are some of the positive emotions like rejoicing and compassion does the bible encourage us to have?