Alvin Gan on How to Talk About Your Emotions

God made us emotional beings

Have you ever yelled at someone in anger, or wallowed in self-pity? While we may not like the so-called negative feelings such as anger and sadness, our emotions are nonetheless part of who we are and how God made us.

Our Creator is a God of emotions. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us that “there are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him”. Since we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), it is not surprising that we, too, are emotional creatures.

Why emotions are a good thing

Can you imagine what life would be like if you had no emotions? No pleasure from drinking a glass of icy cold lemonade on a hot sunny day? No exhilaration from riding in a roller coaster racing down a steep slope at 120mph? No satisfaction from your greatest accomplishment? Each new day will just be yet another bland, colorless 24 hours.

But emotions do more than add colors to our lives. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God did not regret creating us as emotional beings. In fact, his conclusion was that “it was very good”.

When emotions are bad

The so-called negative emotions that we sometimes experience, such as sadness, are not necessarily bad. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35). And before Jesus’ crucifixion, he told three of his disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).

What is bad is when we try to deny our emotions instead of expressing and handling them appropriately. The animated movie “Inside Out” illustrates this perfectly. 11-year-old Riley felt sad when her family moved from Minnesota to San Francisco because of her father’s new job, so Joy (personified) tried to protect Riley by blocking out Sadness (personified). The situation spirals out of control until Sadness saved the day when Riley tearfully confessed to her parents that she missed Minnesota and her old life.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Alvin Gan

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