Emotions: they are what can trigger us to get hopping mad in a split second, cry at the drop of a hat, risk everything, feed unforgiveness or see us paralysed with fear.
Our emotions are tied to what we desire or need, and when we feel we may not get those desires and needs fulfilled, we tend to act out in ways that may or may not show us in the best light and often hurt others.
However, not all emotions are bad. As someone who is fairly emotionally charged I think our world would be a very dull place without the excitement and vibrancy of emotions. A bit like a colourless rainbow.
Our emotions can be the fire behind our successes in life, or sometimes our downfalls, but they are, nonetheless, emotions we were born with and emulate our Creator.
God created emotions, he understands them, he feels them. Jesus expressed emotions: anger in the temple, sadness when Lazarus died, despair when he called out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’.
The Bible helps us understand the emotions we have and how best to make decisions with these unpredictable feelings because it displays what God and Jesus have also felt.
Jesus teaches that even when you are upset that someone has hurt you for the umpteenth time, you are to forgive them again and again just as God has forgiven all the mistakes you have made.
So, how God handles emotions is the way we should handle our emotions: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).
If we are slow to get angry about things, if we are overflowing in forgiveness and love, and if we are gracious and patient with others, whether they deserve it or not, our emotions will become more positive than we ever thought possible.
Give it a try and see how your circumstances and emotions can change depending on the stance you take in challenging situations.