How to Handle Emotions, Yours and Mine.
I have tendencies toward the independent side.
Yep, it’s true. It pains me a bit to admit. But that’s the first step to recovery, right? It may be more because I also lean toward privacy. I’m not a huge fan of being an open book to just any ole passerby. That’s where it may be different for you. You may be able to share a bit more easily with others. And that’s okay. God made us different on purpose.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. Romans 12:4-7
When Sunday’s sermon opened and the words “Insights from David’s Living Room” popped off the screen and made their way into my head I had to imagine myself exactly right there in David’s living room. I even drew a sofa in my notes. Anyway, yeah that was irrelevant, but I like the idea that I may have just brought a smile to your face!
Here we are, all together in David’s Living Room.
Imagine for a moment, knowing what we know about the troubles that David’s family faced, how the atmosphere might be in his living room. Why are we here? What is it that God wants us to see from this vantage point? It really can be a little different for each of us. That’s one of the beautiful things about our sweet savior. He uses one sermon, one situation, one Bible to speak to each of us in the place we’re at in that moment. Amazing, isn’t He?
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
In fact, all of Isaiah chapter 55 is worth meditating over.
Just as our Pastor reminded us on Sunday -
troubles do come our way.
Just because we’re a child of God doesn’t make us immune to trouble. But we can know how to face them. We can trust that He’ll bring something good from it. Why? Because He said He would.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I’m not going to attempt to go through each point that was made on Sunday, but I would like to talk about one thing that struck me and got my attention more than anything else. It was the last point.
Let the emotions come out.
The following were the thoughts that went through my head, and maybe yours too: What!? Yikes! You can’t be serious? Here? At Church? You may be saying that, but I guarantee you don’t mean it! Oops did I go too far in being real with you, just now? Did I share too many of my thoughts? Probably.
But if you’re still reading let’s get comfy on this living room sofa we’ve found ourselves sharing.
That person you shook hands with Sunday morning and asked how they are…they’re probably facing some troubles right this very minute. But wait, you didn’t actually mean it when you asked them how they were, did you? And if you did, and they told you just a surface explanation of what they’re facing, did you promise to pray for them? Why didn’t you do it right then? I know, I ask a lot of questions.
But stay with me for a bit longer.
We’re afraid of those emotions, aren’t we? There are the thoughts that nag us and make our hearts beat faster. That keep us from even paying close attention to the hurting one before us. They go something like this: If I continue to let this conversation go on what am I going to do if they start crying right now? People will notice. Someone might see. Someone might hear. What will they think?
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
We don’t go to the alter for these reasons either.
What other explanation can there be? Why don’t we? Why don’t we feel free enough to pray in front of one another? Why don’t we feel free enough to pray for one another? I wish I knew the answer. I wish, as bold as I’m being right now I could be bold enough to care more about what Jesus thinks than people.
Yep, this takes me back to admitting at the beginning that I’m a bit on the independent side. I’d rather take care of things myself than to depend on a friend in Christ. And I’m a crier. I cry at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, I shock even myself at how easily I tear up. My family makes bets on how quickly I’ll cry in a situation. All the while as the bets go on behind my back, I’m having a serious talk with myself repeating over and over again,
don’t cry, don’t cry, just DON'T cry. Ha.
It takes everything I have sometimes to hide this from my Christian family. And when I fail at it I think about it for far too many days after the deed is done. Why on earth would I trust them with my inner most fears? Why would I share that I’m human? Why would I be real with any of them? Here I go again with so many nagging questions. Only I can answer these for myself just as only you can answer any similar questions for yourself. Jesus created us for community. He created us first to need Him. He also saw that we needed one another. He doesn’t want us to go it alone. So why do we?
Bear one another's burdens. Galatians 6:2
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Okay, I get it that there is a time and a place for any and all emotions.
In fact, as I’ve shared I err on the side of keeping them to myself. Causing disruptions and making a scene is just not what I believe God has in mind. Look at the life of Jesus. He was emotional at times. But take a look at the scene around Him in those moments.
Jesus wept. John 11:35
When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her. Luke 7:14
Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. Matthew 20:34
What about those times when there was an emotional person in His presence? Look closely at how He handled those. He was and is the ultimate example to what I shared with you last week.
His will for us as Christians is simply to Love God. Love people. Emotions and all.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Do you struggle with holding your emotions back? Do you struggle with the fear of someone else on the verge of getting too emotional and not knowing how to handle it?