TRANSFORMED, Part 4: Emotional Health

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Message Recap | 3.1.2015
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor

I can be a person who wears their emotions on their sleeve.  I remember as a little boy times where situations affected me emotionally.  I remember feeling that I should try to curb or handle my emotions better.  I tried really hard to do that because I didn’t see other boys who felt like that or at least didn’t show it outwardly.  It has always been a part of who I am.  Let me tell you a story about the day I married my wife Nancy.  I felt so close to her both spiritually and emotionally, but thought that I could hold it together enough to get through the wedding ceremony.  I had talked myself into believing I was strong and if anyone would get emotional, it wouldn’t be me.

Well, that plan didn’t work out so well.  Standing on the platform with my best man and ushers along with my Pastor, I gazed to the back of the Sanctuary as they were about to open the doors.  At last, I would see my bride on the most important day of our life together.  The doors opened and Nancy emerged walking with her brother Fred.  She took a couple of steps and I gasped.  I had never seen someone so beautiful as Nancy in all the days of my life.  My response to this incredible beauty, both inside and out, was to openly weep in front of family and friends.  I could hear people giggling and I could see people pointing at me and smiling.  But I didn’t care.  I had just been given a great gift and the mere sight of Nancy brought me to joyous tears.  There was no holding back and in the midst of my love for Nancy, my feelings became passionate.

This week I want us to look at what the Bible says about how to manage our emotions.  How to deal with how we feel.  In Mark 12:29-30 (NLT), Jesus says this: “The most important commandment is this, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.”

Can you hear the emotion in these words of Jesus?  Jesus is saying I don’t want you to just kind of love me, or just kind of love God.  I want you to love God passionately with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.  God wants an emotional relationship with you.  He doesn’t want a head knowledge – yeah, I know Jesus.  I know God.  He is saying, “I want an emotional passionate relationship that is full of feelings.”

Let me give you some facts about emotions before we go any further.  Did you know that God has emotions?  Many people don’t realize this.  God has feelings.  God is an emotional God.  God feels joy, He feels grief, He feels pain, He feels hatred towards sin,  He has frustration with the people around him just like you do.  God has emotions.  The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image.  If God wasn’t an emotional God you wouldn’t have any emotions.

Our ability to feel is a gift from God.  Our emotions are a gift from God.  They may not always seem that way.  But even the negative ones have a role in your life.  Emotions are a great asset.  They’re the one thing that makes you human.

And finally, there are two extremes to avoid in dealing with emotions.  One is called emotionalism and the other is called stoicism.  Emotionalism means all that matters is how I feel.  While stoicism means feelings aren’t important at all.

If you want to know more about Transformed Part 4 – Emotional Health and How to Deal with How you Feel, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/transformed for the complete message.

Friend, sometimes we feel like David felt in Psalm 55:2 (GW), “My thoughts are restless and I’m confused.”  That’s the way we are a lot of times about our feelings.  We’re confused.  But there are ways to manage unwanted feelings.  We must name or identify what we are feeling.  We must challenge it and we must tame it. This week, I ask that you spend some time with God and meditate on the feelings, the emotions you have that you would like God and His Holy Spirit to change.  Remember, Jesus is saying I don’t want you to just kind of love me, or just kind of love God.  He wants us to love Him passionately with all our heart and with all our soul and will all our mind and with all our strength.  Jesus gave us His all.  He is asking for us to give Him our all.

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