Wednesday, January 18, 2017

because emotions are dangerous

Confession; many times in my writing I stop just short of full transparency. This is a difficult thing to admit since my desire from the very beginning of this venture has been to be transparent. To let you see the real me in hopes that you yourself will become more transparent with your thoughts, with your feelings, and with the words and the story God has given you was a personal command given and a promise made. The burden of not having always fulfilled it is a tough load to bear, and one I long to put down, after first seeking your forgiveness for not encouraging you to be your completely true self when I did not quite make it there myself.

Revealing all that is within you is one of the most intimidating things you can do yet one of the most freeing. To let all your dirt shine, as mentioned in the past, is to understand, admit, and say I am not in control. I do not care what others may think about me. I know who I am and I know whose I am. My identity is fully planted in the name given through relationship with Christ. His daughter. His own. I was bought with a price. I am His daughter. I am His.

One thing in particular tempts us to keep things inside. It causes us to misdirect others from our core and mask the real with a farce. Or even, despite command and promise, let 99% of the heart show while keeping that last little piece to ourselves, that last little piece that will reveal the whole picture, and truly letting go of all control.


The human heart, human soul, is full of them. Being a female I am tempted to think we are able to stake claim to a million extras but research revealed that while we, as a female species, are a little more sensitive to negative emotions there was actually not that much difference between guys and girls. So fellas, this is for you too!

While emotion is just one seven letter word, the noun in its essence manifests itself in a hundred ways. Varying from simple to complex, and sliding through the whole spectrum of positive to negative, we are full of anger and envy, excitement and love, frustration and shame, caution and boldness, confusion and loneliness, expectation and hope. And through each of the many emotions, parts of our heart will show. To live with and through each emotion while exposing a heart planted in the abiding love, protection, and grace of Christ requires an understanding of two different ways emotions can be dangerous.

Paul David Tripp in one of his daily devotions from New Morning Mercies mentioned not letting you live your life for the moment and by the emotions you feel at the time because "in a moment, your thoughts can seem more important than they actually are. In a moment, your emotions can seem more reliable than they are. In a moment, your needs can seem more essential than they truly are." In a current world of 'yolo' and quoting 'carpe diem' from the past, this is a radical thought stemming from the oldest of truths.

Emotions that come from the immediate are more often than not untrustworthy. They come from snap judgments. They come from first instincts. They come from a defensive mess. They come from Fear. They come with little thought. Truth can be found underneath, but it takes time, more than a split seconds worth, for wisdom to appear; for Hope to rise up. Though 24 hours of wait is a great idea it is not necessary for every situation. What is necessary is remembering the life we are asked to live, and for whom we are asked to live it, is one that stretches for eternity. Though there are hills and valleys producing every manner of emotion, the One guiding us is there for more than a moment. Those little moments may mean much to our human hearts at the time, but in the end it is the long marathon for Him that matters.

Because there are two sides to every coin, we also must delve into the other danger emotions can cause, and it happens when you do one simple act, ignore them.

We all have a line drawn in the sand, a line that cannot be crossed without repercussions of some kind. The problem is, we draw it before we should. Gripped with fear or whatever other emotion, the line is drawn in the spot where our two feet are still comfortably standing. A spot that where no discomfort is felt. Many of us need to extend that line out a little bit farther to a spot that takes us out of ourselves, a place where a step of faith must be taken.

Amidst the desire for going deeper, there is no more skimming the surface. Not giving into the emotions, not understanding them for what they hinders and hindering is what I have been after. I realize so very often I don't give in, don't let my emotions in as much as needed, don't let myself feel them the entire way because of where the unknowns they will take me and of what I might learn about myself when I see them through.

There is a big difference between giving into your emotions and understanding them. If you are going to let God reach you where you are you have to understand the full depth of where the emotions have left you.

It is at that point where growth happens, where inner dispositions begin to shift and change.

So pay attention. Pay attention to what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, and what makes you feel all the feels in between. Then take that vast array and lay them down at the feet of the one who rescued you and keeps you in his hand and let him pick them up for you and show you where to go.

Praying for each of you and the emotions you find surrounding you, pray for me.

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