Feeling Moody?

6 05 2010

We’ve become quite a touchy-feely bunch of people. We like to tap into our emotions and “be true to ourselves” – let it all hang out. To pot with how it affects others. We have needs; we have rights; we have feelings that need to be expressed.

I sort of agree with it. The stiff upper lip that we Brits were once so famous for wasn’t always a good thing. We’re human, relational; our feelings are part of who and what we are. Constantly denying or supressing them is likely to make them explode in some other way.

But they don’t define us. Nor should they control us. I came across these quotes:

“Oh the havoc that is wrought and the tragedy, the misery and the wretchedness that are to be found in the world simply because people do not know how to handle their own feelings!” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Elisabeth Elliot explains more: “Choices will continually be necessary and—let us not forget—possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.

“Try it,” she challenges. “When, in the face of powerful temptation to do wrong, there is the swift, hard renunciation—I will not—it will be followed by the sudden loosing of the bonds of self, the yes to God that lets in sunlight, sets us singing and all freedom’s bells clanging for joy.”

Don’t make ’em like they used to.

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4 responses

9 05 2010
galatea

God created emotions/moods. Jesus displayed them – no doubt criticised and misunderstood as it suited the crowd. While they don’t rule us and should not cause sin, we ignore them at our peril – emotionally, physically and spiritually. God uses them to waken us to situations and warn of dangers we cannot or will not see. To encourage others to ignore or subvert them is to bind them with manmade religious dogma and to rob them of part of their spiritual essence. Christian s can supplant holiness with unhealthy levels of emotional control.

10 05 2010
feemail

Good point. I think you’re right.

17 05 2010
Linda watson

What moods did Jesus display? He certainly displayed emotions but people controlled by their moods are hard work – “…blown about by every wind…’ etc. Give me a good old stiff upper lip any day!

21 05 2010
galatea

All commentators have agreed that emotions don’t control us! But emotions can be right as well as wrong. They can be used by He who created us in his converse with us. A stiff lip while relevant in some situations is mainly a cultural norm. We can remain in a wrong place because we block our emotions in the name of holiness. What are we so frightened of ? Feeling anything?

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