The Spirit and Our Emotions

Artwork for Flying Closer to the Flame

For too long we have been afraid of our feelings. Even though we know God made us as whole people with a mind, a will, and emotions, our focus has remained on the first two almost to the total ignoring of the third. Facts, we love. They are objective, cold, reliable, and able to be proven. Faith, we admire. It is the foundation stone of our belief system. We are told in Scripture to “walk by faith,” to use the “shield of faith,” to trust God with unmovable faith, without which “we cannot please” Him. But feelings? Emotions? How unpredictable! So we have taught ourselves not to rely on our feelings, that we cannot trust our feelings, that mature believers never let their emotions get out of hand. In many ways, we evangelicals—especially non-charismatic evangelicals—frown on emotion. This is true, even though we freely admit that God made us with emotions. Somehow, this doesn’t square with common sense. More important, it lacks an understanding of the Spirit’s work within and through the realm of our emotions. Let’s think that through together.