"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Connecting Emotionally With God"

Can you imagine how dull life would be if emotions were absent? We couldn't see a child singing and smile with delight. We couldn't feel heartache when someone abandoned or betrayed us. No awe for the glorious sunrise and no anger for the injustice we see. Life would be more logical and factual and intellectual, but we might as well be robots for all the fun that would be.

Jesus said we are to love God with all of our being, and face it, God made us emotional creatures. We feel joy and pain and zeal and anger and sadness. Sometimes I think we celebrate logic and poo-pooh emotions -- maybe because expressing emotions makes us seem weak. Even some religious people of the past have thought women were deficient somehow because we are generally more emotional than our male counterparts.

But are emotions really that bad? Aren't we glad for people who can understand us because of our shared emotions? It's hard to share our hurts and fears and joys with people who are interested only in the facts. On the other hand, bonds are formed by sharing the deepest parts of us.

I love that God made us for relationship and that we can experience Him through our minds, wills and our emotions! I read this great article recently. Here is just part of it. The link to the full article is at the end.

God designed us for relationship, and relationships consist of emotional bonds. We know that by the ways we connect closely with other people. This doesn’t happen simply through shared information or shared experiences. You can sit in a long class or business meeting sharing a lot of information with a lot of other people, but your relationship with them may not be any deeper after the meeting is over. You can watch a movie with a group of friends but have a completely different reaction to it than they do, and not feel any closer.

The key isn’t the facts you’re exposed to with others or the situations you encounter together. Closeness is created by the shared emotional responses to that information and those experiences. When our feelings line up with someone else’s, we feel a connection. When they don’t, we don’t. That’s how we bond in a relationship.

It’s the same way with God. He doesn’t tell us just to learn His attributes and be able to describe what He is like, or even just to obey Him. He calls us into a relationship—one that is deep and intimate. We’re supposed to grow continually closer to Him throughout our lives. That simply can’t be done apart from our emotions. When we eliminate feelings from the discipleship process, we’re bypassing the one component that creates closeness in a relationship. If we don’t learn to feel the way He feels, we don’t connect; we never really know Him.

. . .

But we can’t grow closer to God without connecting to Him through our emotions. Just as a married couple doesn’t develop a deeper bond by hanging their marriage certificate on the wall and staring at it together, we don’t connect with the Lord simply by memorizing truth and agreeing with it. We grow closer to Him as we go through experiences with Him and learn to feel His heartbeat.

When we ask, His indwelling Spirit will help cultivate in us the emotions He already has. Instead of saying our feelings don’t matter, we bring our heart into alignment with His and embrace the feelings that we share. Why? Because real relationships were designed to flourish at a heart level. And God desires nothing less from us than a real relationship.

Full article by Chris Tiegreen


Wrestling With Religion said...

I was just thinking about emotions today!

I was listening to some powerful music and it was making me cry because of the power of the story combined with the beauty in the melody. I enjoyed it, it just made me feel alive and like I was having a real experience for a change.

I think all real experiences are emotional.

And I definitely think God is only experienced through the emotions. Without that, God is just a theory.

Anonymous said...

I think this is what I am doing now?!

I really liked this clip-I will copy it and save it. It's very good. Thank you! Kind of helps me a lot right now with what I'm going through.

Take Care :)

Susanne said...

Sarah, how fitting that you were thinking of emotions earlier today and then read this, huh? Maybe God is trying to tell you something! ;-) Nah, it seems you know it already...only kidding! :) Yeah, I think emotions are good things really. Thanks for your comment. Ah, songs really make me cry sometimes.

Hey, Shell, glad to see you over here! And I'm glad that this was helpful with what you are dealing with presently.

Take care, you two. :)

Susanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.