Emotions: What Do We Do With Them?

by | Mar 18, 2019 | #revive2019

Emotions. I wonder how many we feel in a day.

If we were having coffee together this morning and I asked you what emotions are you feeling, how would you answer? I’d share with you I’m all over the place this morning.

  • I’m happy because this week is what I consider spring break. Even though we aren’t going anywhere warm and tropical.
  • I’m grieved over the deaths of our neighbors, Bruce and Virginia, who were killed in a motorcycle accident in Florida on Friday. Amazing people gone from this earth way too soon.
  • I’m a bit overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate right now. Preparing for taxes, for upcoming speaking engagements, for Bible study, for my work responsibilities. (One thing at a time, right?)
  • I’m excited about a new opportunity I’ve been given in Bible Study Fellowship. I will be a Substitute Teaching Leader for our class next year.
  • I’m unsettled about the fact that one of my part-time jobs is ending in a few months, and I’m questioning a lot. Should be looking for something else?

Whew. Happy, grieved, overwhelmed, excited, unsettled.

Emotions: What do we do with them?

Emotions can control much of our days.

But, should they?

In talking with someone recently on this subject, she shared her perspective which made sense to me. She suggested to giving ourselves permission to feel the emotions that rise within us. To feel happy, sad, stressed, or whatever emotion is present. Doing so opens the door to work through them.

After feeling a certain emotion, processing it helps us heal, grow, and move forward. It may be helpful to process it through artwork or music, through journaling or writing, through talking to a friend, a pastor, or a counselor. The thing is, the emotion remains until it’s processed.

Hmmm… interesting, huh?

It’s possible we have been taught or have the notion we should ignore our emotions. Or we believe our emotions are bad. Of course, we cannot (and probably should not) follow every emotion that presents itself. One of the worst things we can do, however, is to ignore our emotions, to repress them, to push them down, and to never feel them. Doing so has a numbing affect on us. Doing so prevents us from healing, thriving, accepting, and flourishing.

Ignoring our emotions can hinder our growth, our health, our lives.

After all, God gave us the ability to feel emotions, right? Yes. But, how we respond to them can make all the difference. As we feel them and process them, what do we do with them? I’m no licensed counselor or expert, but I find lining up my emotions with truth helps me move beyond them and equips me to walk in God’s freeing grace.

A few truths that have helped me recently:

Think the thought/feel the emotion but give them to God.

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.

2 Corinthians 10:5 VOICE

Allow Jesus to displace what troubles you.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

God can bring the best out of you, even through your emotions.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:1-2 MSG

Even our emotions can bring God glory.

Friend, what emotions are you feeling today? Join me in feeling them, processing them, and lining them up with truth. See what God reveals to you as you do so. Then move forward in His freeing grace.

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].

John 1:16 AMP

I’m praying John 1:16 for you today. Receive His grace upon grace, my friend.

Much love,

Emotions: What do we do with them?
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6 Comments

  1. ordinarilyextraordinarymom

    This is the second time I have read about this topic in two days. I really think God is trying to tell me something. I’m pretty sure I’m harboring some unresolved resentment towards Him that He would like me to address.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      God is teaching me much about emotions. I know I still have lots to learn. Isn’t God such a good Father in teaching us and transforming us into who He desires us to be? I’m so thankful He doesn’t leave us as we once were. Praying for you today!

      Reply
  2. Cindy

    I’m just home from several days with my grands so I’m feeling a little weary. I’m also experiencing what I call my divided heart. I’m sad to be away from my grandsons and daughter and at the same time I’m so happy to be home and in my regular routine. I’m grateful for both emotions though, as it means I have many blessings in my life! Thank you for these verses. I’m going to write them down as reminders on those days when emotions overwhelm me.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      What a joy, Cindy! I look forward to the day when I have grands! But, until then, I’ll live through your experiences. 🙂 I can imagine the emotions you feel missing your grandsons, yet being home in your own routine. Enjoy each. God is truly blessing you!

      Reply
  3. Kim

    Oh my goodness. I could say so much! I know what it is like to ignore emotions, unfortunately for years, and I do not recommend it. The day will come, I promise you, when you can’t not deal with them, and I mean all of them. Great truths you’ve pointed out. Right now I feel like I am in constant contradiction.

    1. I keep running late each day, (darn time change), but am ahead on several things at work, whew.

    2. I am counting down the days until my youngest graduates high school because…I am so ready to be done. But, wait! Then I will start counting the days until she leaves for college, but with a bit of sadness. Already?!?

    3. I am relieved that my dearest friend is finally available to once again live life with choice and no longer only of necessity. Yet she is fragile. She isn’t fully healed from the really hard season she and her family have been through, so it breaks my heart to hear just how difficult it all was.

    4. There is finally hope on the horizon for a friend couple and their future, but it will take them away from us and here.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Kim, many of us relate to how kept-inside emotions can be damaging. I’m one who has done the same. I’m glad we can learn from our past and be open about this subject! It appears you have lots going on, and you’re positively recognizing your emotions and working through them. That’s wonderful. I’m praying for every situation you listed today. God is with you, friend, and I am too, from afar. Much love to you today and always!

      Reply

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