More Than… In Life, Love, and the Hereafter - Emotions
Updated: Feb 23
When God created us in His image, that image included our emotions. So that we can become MORE-THAN and NEVER LESS-THAN, God gives us all things to enjoy, mature and healthy emotions bring meaning and purpose to our lives through all we have been given. The significance of you and I becoming MORE THAN in our Emotions is this. First, emotions are like breathing air - inhale, exhale. They are the fluid ever present current within us: they define our inner world and give us a running commentary on the outer world. Even our awareness of life starts with emotions. Our emotions are so present and persistent that our spiritual growth and our life's well-being demand of us a stronger understanding of emotions. They are closer to us than our skin, than the air we breathe. Emotions are as constant and present as the weather surrounding us. We need to understand and manage them. Emotions unchecked and rampant they are a wrecking ball and a cruel task-master - harnessed and re-directed they are a catalyst for courage and conquest. No, it's even MORE THAN that!!! We can learn to use the emotions and feelings we have, processing them in the way God has desired us to - or they can betray us and derail us. But God has a process and purpose for our emotions and what we feel so that we are becoming and overcoming, so that we are MORE THAN in our Emotions and never settling for LESSER-THAN He has intended. We can start this process with the words of Jesus, and the words of Paul His apostle...
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
1 Timothy 6:17
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be arrogant, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Next we embrace the reality that we are instructed in scripture to enjoy and become MORE-THAN in all of life - productive in our work, loving with our mates, patient with our children, wise with our good health, generous with our material blessings, and of course centered and anchored by our love for God. Without emotions, becoming MORE-THAN would NOT be probable or possible.
Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.
There are many things that we do know about our emotions. God's Word is generous in wisdom and the Holy Spirit is available to continually reveal truth to us about what we feel and how to use and not to use these feelings in ways that lead us to becoming MORE-THAN. Here are four essential facts that can get us moving away from being LESSER-THAN.
[Emotions Fact One]:
Our Emotions Respond and React to Our Physical Circumstances
We are made to enjoy God. We enjoy our families and our friends. We enjoy the opportunities God gives us to use our abilities to serve and love others. Life has purpose and fulfillment. Our spiritual life grows, matures and deepens as we learn to appreciate and multiply God's blessings - that is being MORE-THAN with our emotions and certainly keeps us potentially from being LESS-THAN.
When life is good and everything is working out—when we move into a new home, when our kids achieve, finish college and find a good job, when they marry the right woman or man, when we have a good report from the doctor, when we actually have money left over at the end of the month—these outcomes make us happy and directly reflect favorable and
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Lord my God, you have done many amazing things! You have made great plans for us—too many to list. I could talk on and on about them, because there are too many to count.
[Emotions Fact 2]:
Our Emotions Respond and React to Our Spiritual Circumstances
When we feel overwhelmed with shame or guilt and find forgiveness by trusting in Jesus Christ, he or she feels cleansed and free. We often see this happen in women who have carried the guilt and pain of abortion for years; they tell us they have found emotional and spiritual healing through Christ's forgiveness, particularly within the context of a support group for abortion recovery. After immorality has destroyed their self-worth, I've seen women renounce their unhealthy lifestyles and find joy in obedience to the Lord.
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
[Emotions Fact 3]:
Our Emotions Can Become Our Lesser-Than Outcome
If our emotions become a runaway train that we can't control or re-direct, more than likely we will weaponize what we are feeling against not only ourselves, but also against the people we love the most. We become then as they say... "One of those hurting people who hurt other people." We are toxic - we are LESS-THAN.
If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; don't give an opportunity for the devil.
Watch out! Don’t let your anger at others lead you into scoffing at God! Don’t let your suffering embitter you towards the only one who can deliver you.
Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm.
And I will give you a new heart—I will give you new and right desires—and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love.
[Emotions Fact 4]:
Our Emotions Can Become Our More-Than Outcome
If our emotions are filtered and re-directed through truth, logic and reason, we can become energized, empowered and educated by what we are feeling. This lifts our spirit and provides us with hope even when our emotions reflect difficult and harsh circumstances. When our emotion is paired with truth and purpose we can become an unstoppable force for the goodness and greatness of God - we become MORE-THAN.
Proverbs 12:5, 15:28
A good man’s mind is filled with honest thoughts; an evil man’s mind is crammed with lies.
A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought.
The righteous will move onward and forward; those with pure hearts will become stronger and stronger.
And so the Lord has paid me with his blessings, for I have done what is right, and I am pure of heart. This he knows, for he watches my every step.
[emotions defined]: a natural instinctive state of mind, deriving or determined from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others; instinctive, protective, or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or factual knowledge, overwhelming feelings
[University Psychology Majors Were Asked - What are Emotions?]:
1. Having strong feelings about someone or something.
2. A sensory reaction to a situation, place, person, or thing.
3. Becoming extremely offended over online conversations to the point of all caps.
4. Over dramatizing little problems. AKA "a dramatizer"
5. An odd state of confusion, usually resulting in either some form of mania or depression.
6. A terrible disease that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time.
[emoji phenomenon]: Originally, emojis were created as symbolic representation of emotions. Similar to punctuation, emojis are used to express emotion - irony or humor - and to substitute body language and tone of voice in text and social-media based communication. Amazingly we have grown a culture nearly incapable of navigating human relationships in real-time and in reality. Ironically, we continue to proclaim a desire to have honest conversations about life, faith, hate, hope, poverty, power, justice, success and failure. Yet, those conversations never really happen - they instead are replaced with rapid fire impulses and interpretations from our safer and lesser-than "emojicon lexicon." We don't want human dialogue we want only for someone acknowledge and feed how we feel without consequence - so we send out an emoji sad face - angry face - confused face - crying face - fear face - it's all good face - worried face - hurt face - sick face - you’re an idiot face - etc., etc...
Sadly, we are so lost in our feelings of how we feel about how we feel about ourselves that it misleads and dominates most digital communication and social media interaction. So, we have embraced the emojicon - emoji. Is it harmless and helpful? Is it helping people get in touch with their true emotions and think twice about what they tweet or post? Or, is it one more step towards us to becoming LESSER-THAN what God created - lost in an actual fact free "feelings dominant world." A world void of absolute truths, filled with unrealistic reasoning and personally preferred logic. Is this us conquering or being conquered?
Is this us being MORE THAN or us becoming LESS THAN?
Are we looking at the face of what I describe as a new and dominant emo-centric global language? Check this article out...
The world can sigh with relief - a set of 72 new emojis is coming soon, among which are the (much needed) avocado, selfie and face palm. New additions to the Unicode Standard - the character coding system that supports emoji rendering on different platforms - always generate a surge of joy on social media. It seems that we can never get enough of those funny icons. And the latest research shows that the appeal of emojis goes well beyond younger users alone - in fact, more than 80% of adults in the UK now use them in their text messages, while a whopping 40% admit to having created a message composed entirely of emojis.
- Social Media Today
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