Growing up, one of my favorite hymns of all time was “My Jesus I love Thee”.
I didn’t know why at the time, but when I sang it, I would lose control of my composure, my face would disfigure, and I would cry.
“You’re too much Rosie. Calm it down,” I would say to myself.
Years later, I have come to understand that that particular song brought out a strong reaction because I didn’t actually know Jesus, and I wanted to.
My emotions were telling me something good, and I didn’t listen.
I believed in this unspoken “truth”, and that is- emotions are wrong. Strong emotions are the precursor to wrong behavior. We have plenty of Bible to back this up- David was caught up in lust towards Bathsheba, Cain murdered Abel in anger, and Eve desired to be ‘like God’.
It wouldn’t take any convincing to bring up the fact that even humans today make really bad decisions based off an emotion.
Stupid emotions. It’s their fault. Feelings lead to stupid, immoral, unbiblical decisions.
And that’s what I’ve spoken over myself for nearly 30 years. I have been afraid of lust, anger, sadness, passion, and even happiness. I am one of the most emotional people I know, and so… I hated this side of myself for the longest time.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” – Jeremiah 17:9
My heart is deceitful. My heart is wicked.
And yet, the best meaning Christians take this verse out of context and use it as a blanket statement for the human condition. In reality, this verse further expands on the human heart that had turned away from the Lord, and became stony.
Stony? I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty emotionless to me.
God is one of the most emotional figures in the Bible. He experiences jealousy, anger, passion, repentance and joy all within chapters of each other. Sounds like I need to break down what I previously believed about emotions and start seeing myself as someone made in the image of God.
Just a thought, but David danced in wild abandonment and stripped down naked during worship, and God didn’t tell him he was being too emotional. God didn’t shout “you were being too emotional!” when he confronted him in his adulterous murder.
In Ezra 3, the people of God wailed in grief, and shouted for joy, that people outside of their city could hear them.
Instead of running away in terror of what I feel, maybe I just need to submit them under his rule-just like everything else in life.
Just maybe, bad decisions aren’t made from an emotional outburst, but because we turn away from what we know to be right in his word.
Emotions need not take center stage, or even the directors role, but what would happen if we allowed them to be the lyrics?
What if the most beautiful moments in life are the times we are most emotional?
What if our emotions pushed us towards a loving Heavenly Father with his arms so wide open, there’s no way we could miss his mark?