Lesson 1: Emotions
“She’s a live wire.”
“He’s wears his heart on his sleeve.”
“She’s so mellow…”
Emotions. Sometimes we try to hide them. We associate them with butterflies and breaking hearts. When they become too overwhelming, we seek help and counsel. Ultimately, we all have them. To be “emotional” is cast in a negative light. Saying, “She is so emotional,” conveys a certain level of distastefulness. However, emotions are a key part of who we are. Identifying, managing, and expressing emotions appropriately are vital elements to our human experience.
This quarter, we will delve into the Bible and its truths as they relate to the spectrum of human emotions. Last quarter’s lessons humanized characters in the Bible – this quarter, we will look at how people in the Bible dealt with emotions in order to glean valuable principles for dealing with our own. As with anything else, the most effective way to deal with human emotions is to seek God’s will and leave them in His control.
Thankfully, we are seeking the expertise from a God who truly cares about us. Hebrews 4:15 puts it best:
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Looking at Jesus’ life, we see how His heart overflowed with compassion, broke with sadness, and ached with frustration. Yet, by His words and actions, we see a pattern for the best way that we can also navigate the sea of emotions.
Perhaps we can prepare ourselves for the discussion over the next 13 weeks by asking ourselves some very important questions:
- When have I experienced hatred, sadness, fear, rage, or jealousy? How did I deal with those emotions at the time and how should I have dealt with them? How do I express joy, love, thankfulness, and compassion? Is there a way to turn negative emotions into positive ones?
- How does my emotional state impact my actions?
- Does the knowledge that Jesus experienced what I am going through strengthen the bond that I have with Him? If not, how should it?
- In practical terms, how can I claim the promise that God will turn my grief into joy (John 16:20)?
- How can I learn to cling to God’s promises when they might seem distant or unattainable?