Recently, I posed a very critical question which was: “Where are you ‘really’ and not ‘Where do you think you should be?”
Focusing on where we ‘should be’ rather than where we ‘truly are’ is a form of denial and limits God’s help when we continue to entertain this thought. Only when we honestly admit the true condition of our heart can we receive the help God so willingly gives.
Being honest also means opening our heart fully to receive His forgiveness and unconditional love. Not only do we need to share with Him the places of struggle, but positive emotions as well e.g. joy, gratitude, happiness, peace, excitement etc. Jesus said in Matthew 18v3 ‘…. Unless you become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Last Sunday evening, a church member came home with his two children and I was amazed at how the little girl engaged her dad, talking non-stop, freely expressing the full range of emotions she was feeling simply because she is in his presence. Wow! When children are hurt, the tears flow unrestrained. Excited, their faces beam with delight as their words spill out all the joy within. I think our heavenly Father wants us to relate to Him in that way, don’t you?
As adults, we find it difficult to acknowledge and express our emotions because oftentimes we place value judgments on them. We have been taught by the world and the church that emotions are wrong. We have heard statements such as ‘big girls don’t cry; never let your emotions control you. While it’s true that we don’t want our feelings to control our behaviour, the wrong conclusion is reached i.e. deny, ignore, or otherwise refuse to acknowledge your emotions. In other words, stuff them!
If we understand that feelings are neither right nor wrong, nor are they good or bad in and out of themselves, it is easier to accept our emotions. It’s not the feelings that are wrong, it is what we do with them. Psalms 4vs4 says ‘Be angry and do not sin’. Help us Lord!