What we do with our emotions can be fantastic or destructive. For example, we can be rejected in love and therefore run to the first available person who will pay us attention. Relationships built on this ground rarely last.
Most people think that they cannot control their emotions and so trot off to the doctor’s office for medication in the hope of becoming a little happier. However medication, while beneficial at times, is only a band aid over a wound. Secondly, little is known about the long term effects of these medications.
Emotions And Faith
A better answer is understanding that we can control our emotions. We do not have to lead emotionally driven lives. It’s an effort and requires discipline. But it becomes easier as we make the effort.
As believers we can live our life by emotions mistaking these for faith. We pray for answers but then take anything that comes along as God’s answer. We find it tough to handle the days of loneliness, sadness and depression. However books such as Psalms show all of these emotions as totally normal. David can find no immediate emotional fix and so directs his emotions toward God. What he achieves in life, despite some mistakes is huge.
To enjoy life, it’s important that we go to faith even on the down days. Faith can contain feelings but faith is not feelings. Those who live by feeling will find that they let people down apart from themselves and may achieve little in life. This is because feelings can change in an instant and so what we feel like doing one day may differ to another day.
Solutions when Emotionally Down
Key 1. A valuable key in life is disciplining ourselves to not live by emotion alone but to look at situations, determine their longterm consequence and therefore act accordingly. This may mean immediate emotional pain but future satisfaction. For example, buying the new car may look good and feel so exciting, but knowing that we already have a lot of debt means that in three months time we can’t pay our bills.
Key 2. No thing nor person can fulfill us. The new home feels so exciting. But the novelty will wear off as it will not stay new and ultimately means expense and repairs. Therefore we experience stress and disappointment. The new clothes or furnishings eventually become old and no longer give us the great emotional highs.
Key 3. Jesus reminds us that he is our fulfillment. In John 3:17, The word “save”, the Greek “sozo”, actually has a far greater meaning than merely salvation. It actually means to complete or fulfill. Therefore it’s great to go Godward in the tough times rather than allowing ourselves to stay in a place of negative emotion.
This does not mean that we immediately feel happy but that we are plugging into the source from which we draw life. It’s a bit of hard work but as we discipline ourselves to grow this relationship, life is less of a yoyo emotionally.
I love the emotional highs of new friendship, starting new churches, going new places, new clothing, new studies and home renovations. In fact I pretty well love anything new. But I also understand that greater meaning in life comes with a decision to control my emotions rather than attempting to apply a bandaid by things and medications. I can’t find fulfillment through any relationship or anything here on this earth.
Ultimately it’s the choice to not just receive salvation from Christ but to become a stronger believer or disciple.
There will be many times in our lives where we will experience depressing emotions and decide to not pressure another for fulfillment. We will have times of frustration and sadness and yet will have to discipline ourselves to not do something that is more negative for our future than positive. Therefore enjoy the feel good emotions but never neglect our ability to know God through the Bible. In this way we gain a strength and satisfaction in life that cannot be found elsewhere.