Listening to Your Emotions

This ten minute video features Dr Matthew Elliott talking about his book, "Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart." I like the focus in the video on listening to and not following our emotions.. I use emotions and not "heart" because I think that it is a clearer term.. so often in scripture the heart is mentioned as a reference to our innermost being.. the place where the Holy Spirit lives.. that part of us that we should be following. Here are a few clips from Dr Elliott from his post on the Jesus Creed blog:
I was with a woman this morning who lost her son to tragedy three years ago. This intense, strong, vibrant follower of Jesus told me that she had almost left the church because people spoke theology and empty Christian platitudes to her instead of feeling and weeping with her. It was terribly empty. She found comfort from those who would share her pain. That is the way God made us.
We think our job is to control our feelings and in our church culture we are uncomfortable when people feel deeply. In our desire to distance ourselves from feelings, we do great damage to souls and our own ability to feel love and compassion.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing we forget that, to God, the core issue is the state of our hearts. Feelings have much to say about the true state of our hearts, that is why they are so prominent is Scripture
Our most powerful witness is often not what we say but how others see we feel our faith. The world is not asking us for perfect answers and ultimate logic. What people are asking Christians is: "Do you love me? Does the life you say you have in Christ bring you the joy and hope I want in my life? Can I see it on your face?"
The imagery of "feeling and weeping" with someone is one that many feel so uncomfortable with. In a sense I think that feeling another's pain is a way that we can love them. I have often cried with others and have had folks cry with me - in each case I have felt a bit more whole.. a bit more human.. a bit more loved.. a bit more connected to God. I think that people need us on many levels.. my prayer is that each of us will be open to the Holy Spirit's ministry of loving others in this compassionate way.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, I found it helpful. God is emotional... I don't think I have a problem with emotions per se, but I often push down the emotions I feel are negative. It's interesting that God also feels anger, jealousy, grief etc. For me, listening and learning is the key I guess.


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