I was raised in rural Mississippi, where there was very little discussion of emotions. My ability to discuss feelings probably sounded similar to me speaking in my Spanish 101 class: “I feel _____ (sad, happy, mad, I don’t know).” Though I’ve grown somewhat in this area, I still hit a wall when processing my emotions.
My wife, on the other hand, is far more capable in discussing her emotions. Being an RUF intern for three years and ministering to female undergraduates gave her a graduate-level vocabulary to flesh out all that she feels. I sometimes think that she chose to marry me out of some kind of emotional benevolence/charity.
However, we both suffer from a similar problem. Despite her ability and my inability to describe our emotions, we both misdiagnose what we are feeling and, when we do latch on to how we are feeling, we can’t rightly figure out how to act correctly. For example, we may find that we should cultivate thankfulness in our lives but quickly (very quickly, it often seems, for me) revert to a pattern of doubting God’s goodness towards us.
The truth is that my inability to produce Godly emotions in my life is not due to some sort of stunted emotional capacity or my upbringing. My inability to produce Godly emotions is due to the cancerous effects of sin that infect my whole being. Just as my redemption from this sin lies in the perfect person and work of Jesus Christ, I must look to Him for my redeemed emotional life.
This Sunday, we will discuss how we are to cultivate Godly emotions. It is my prayer that as we look to Christ as the source of our emotions, we will grow love, joy, peace, and patience that will glorify God in our homes, church, and community.
Scripture: Galatians 5:19-25
Sermon: “Cultivating Godly Emotions”