S39P4 – Taking it all in: feeling

2 Cor. 7:8-10

For even though I did grieve you with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it —for I see that the letter hurt you, though only for a little while—yet I am glad now, not because you were hurt and made sorry, but because your sorrow led to repentance; for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that you might not suffer loss in anything on our account. For sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow produces death.

You see a child who is without basic necessities, and something moves you to act. You see a person on the street asking for spare change, and something moves you to offer a meal. You see a colleague who always eats lunch alone, and something moves you to sit at the table and dine. You see someone suffer a grave injustice, and a fire rises up inside of you. You see lost people roaming the Earth headed for certain destruction, and you want to talk to them about Jesus. You see yourself taking a path that leads to sinning against God, and you want to come clean. We experienced many things in this world that prompt us to feel something that God wants us to feel. This emotional response is one way that He lets us take in the world around us.

Emotions are integral to our faith. Without love we cannot please God. Without compassion we would have no desire to seek and save the lost. Neither would we want to see the sick get healed. Scripture tells us that Jesus himself experiences empathy in that He has suffered every temptation that we will suffer on this Earth. We have a High Priest who knows what we go through. Clearly, that empathy played a role in keeping him faithful even to death on a cross. Personally, emotions are what drove me to my moment of salvation. I felt that God was calling me, and I could feel his light. I had to be emotionally spent within myself before I turned to him to sustain me. God allows us to feel as a way of prompting us to action. It is a critical communication between him and us.

It seems impossible that one would be able to have any impact on this world without having some kind of emotional connection to it that prompts a response. We feel because God feels. Scripture tells us that He sent Jesus because of his love for the world. That was the driving emotion behind the Father sacrificing the Son for our sake and his glory. Jesus himself told his disciples that the world would know they are his because they would have this same love for each other. If we are to walk out this life as God has designed, we must be willing to put our emotions on the altar. Allow him to tug on your heartstrings as He directs you through this life, and respond as Jesus would respond. Father, thank You for designing us to feel as You feel, and make us willing to respond to our emotions as You would have us do.