The proper use of feelings and emotions

Feelings and emotions can sometimes get a bad rap. We can be a little hard on them. Sometime, we live by our emotions, and that is a problem as well. So, how shall we then live?

First, emotions and feelings are a gift from God. They are part of who we are. There are “good” feelings like happiness and ecstasy, as well as “bad” feelings like pain and sorrow. Both of these serve important parts of our lives. Feelings are both part of the richness of our lives, and they are indicators that we might need to pay attention to.

Your car has a little light that indicated when you are out of oil. That light is an indicator that a bad thing is happening. You could just disconnect that light, and you would never be annoyed with it again. But it serves a purpose. It tells us that there is a problem we need to deal with. If we ignore the indicator, the problem doesn’t go away.

Likewise, we are given feelings that are much more delightful. We can experience pleasure. But when we pursue the feeling of pleasure without the complete package (relationships, growth, maturity, etc), we end up as addicts to the feelings. We miss the richness for which God has designed us. It’s like eating sugar instead of food. It has some of the ingredients, but it leaves so much out.

Sometimes, we pursue the pleasure to mask the pain. That is a terrible place to be. We ignore the indicators, and lose the richness of life we are designed for.  We are made to be princes and princesses in the kingdom of God. He has destined us for goodness and pleasure in Him. And we will experience that in this life. We will also have things that come into our lives due to this fallen world that will bring pain and sorrow. The question is, “what will we do with it?”

God has designed us to lean first on Him, and to share our burdens with one another. We are to be people of joy and passion, and we are to share it with others. We are to bring our pain to Him, and to receive His help, and the help of those around us.  When we try to “fix” life on our own, we head down a path where we look to just avoid pain, and seek pleasure. The end of that road is not pretty.

Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. God is not a means to an end, He is the end. He is the reward, and all joy is ultimately found in Him.