How easy do your feelings get hurt?
How do you normally react to criticism?
What types of visuals make your heart swell up with love?
What personal interactions draw you to focus on how you are thought of by others?
How do you normally react to change?
All of these questions are connected or related to internal emotions that rise up within us at various times, much like the tides of the oceans that roll in and out. Sometimes we can control them and there are times when they seem to make themselves known, whether we want them to or not. Can you imagine not been effected by emotions? No happiness, no joy, no sadness, no inner peace.
We have been created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) so having emotions is natural to us, because they are also part of how God is, part of His makeup so to speak.
I’ve been reading through Acts and Romans lately and of course the Apostle Paul plays a critical role in both. I’ve been trying to appreciate the interactions that Paul had with others and the manner in which he communicated his feelings or emotions. I find that when I specifically take note of these things, it makes me more aware of how alike we all are in so many ways, and it helps me connect with their humanity. Examples are when Paul told the Ephesian disciples that they would not see his face again in Acts 20:37-38 NIV “They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.” and in Romans 16 where the personal greetings to the brethren are noted. There is a long list of brethren to whom greetings are sent. Notice the use of the words “dear friends” as per the NIV or “my beloved” as per the NASB.
Sometimes we forget that these people that we read about in the Bible where real people, just like you and I. They were’t perfect, they had human traits but …. they share on how they focused on the goal, the prize, the objective. I’m grateful that God saw fit to show us these things in the Scriptures, they are there for a reason.
I’ve also got a couple of books on the go and it struck me how gifted some people are. The book “Reality” by Greg Kouki and “On Guard” by William Lane Craig, both are good examples of gifted Christian authors. Both of these books are excellent by the way.
I ran across the following verse yesterday in 1 Corinthians 1:26 NIV which reads: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”
While I easily fall into the not wise by human standards category, I am grateful that God did say “not many”, indicating that there are some. Greg Kouki and William Craig would undoubtedly fall into the “wise” category. I don’t know if you are like me but I am constantly reminding God in my prayers that I could use some more brain power. Not that He needs to be reminded, He is acutely aware of my limited mental capacity.
I’m not mentally challenged per se, I worked in the Internet Technology industry and obtained a huge pile of technical certificates over the years, but when I look at what William Craig seems to be able to easily digest and then explain, I marvel at his understanding and intellect. The good news is that God has graced us with many “wise” spoke persons for His Kingdom here, it just takes a little digging to find their shining hilltops. You’ll find that I quote a number of them in some of my posts.
1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (NIV) reads: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
I don’t know about you but I can’t even imagine what it will be like to understand fully. If there is such a thing as “replays” of what transpired throughout the Bible, I want to see it all. Can you imagine! I hope they have nicker liners up there because I have serious concerns!
To get back on point, the emotions that we feel are normal, because in most cases, we are normal. We are the normal majority. The common “Joes and Janes” per se. Just trying to follow Jesus, imperfect as we all are, opening our hearts and minds to His Holy Spirit and longing for that day when we shall see Him “face to face”. Don’t allow your human traits to get you down, recognize them for what they are, aspects of our fleshly nature that are dying, painfully slow at times, but dying none the less. God’s Holy Spirit does live within us. If you have given your heart to Jesus, that is a fact. Rejoice in it!
I constantly remind myself of this simple Biblical truth: Romans 10:13 (KJV) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” He is our hope. He does not lie. He does not change His mind. To those of us who believe, we are the whosoever. Feelings, take notice!