Dealing With Emotional Baggage
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
We are spirit beings who have souls and live in bodies. Our souls are made up of our mind, our emotions and our willpower or volition. Today, I want to discuss the use of our emotions, but let me mention a few things first.
God gave us every sense to be used for His glory. With our spirit, we contact the spiritual world, and discern God through our conscience, the voice of our human spirit, and through the Holy Spirit who comes to reside in us in the new birth.
With our bodies, we contact the physical world in which we live; the five senses enabling us to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. He created every sense to be used.
With our intellect we think and reason, exploring the vastness of God’s creation, and we are constantly learning more and more about its’ complexity and the simple synergy with which every organism works. From the farthest galaxy seen from the Hubble Telescope to the smallest matter seen with the most powerful lens, there is a Divine design to all of creation.
God also gave us emotions. They have a purpose in us and the Father expects us to use them for His glory and for our benefit. Our emotions are a gauge that we can use in our relationships. Happy, sad, exuberant, melancholy, exasperated, or joyful; the Father wants our emotions to work but not to rule us.
I have come across so many people who have emotions that are numb. They feel nothing. They live from day to day with no real emotions about much of anything. Psychologists sometimes call this the flat effect. I call it just being numb.
Here’s what happens. If a person has a traumatic experience, and they try to keep from feeling the pain of the trauma by shutting off the feelings or emotions it produces, then they also shut off every other emotion. They way emotions works is that when you shut one down, you shut them all down. For some reason with emotions, you just can’t turn one off and keep the others running. You either feel the good and the bad, or you turn them all off and don’t feel anything!
Many people lead emotionally numb lives and it is not the will of God. God created emotions so that we could feel relationships with others and with Him! Through the years many people have told me that they never feel the presence of God. When I inquire, they also tell me that they don’t feel much of anything ever emotionally, and that’s when I see that there’s a big problem.
If you find yourself emotionally numb, go back and make sure that you’ve really forgiven every person that has emotionally wounded you. Forgive them from your heart and release them. Release from yourself every hurtful thought created by any incident with any person. Sometimes people let these hurtful feelings and thoughts pile up, and they don’t know where to begin.
Here’s an exercise that may help. Start with each close relationship in life, beginning with parents and go on to siblings, friends, teachers, bosses, relatives, and those you’ve loved. The people closest to us are the ones that have the ability to wound us the most emotionally. We must choose to forgive each one. Make an itemized list of the hurtful thoughts that come to mind when you think of each relationship in your life that has brought you emotional pain. Take the list and purposely forgive each item listed, releasing the person from the judgments you’ve had against them because of what they said or did to you. Ask the Father to forgive you for holding offense, and then pray for God to bless and help the person, even if you don’t think they deserve it! Pray for their salvation if they don’t know the Lord.
Emotions will wake up if you release hard feelings and grudges that lie deeply buried. Work on it! The Father doesn’t want you ruled by feelings, but He does want you to experience them in relationships!
Sometimes the Father also wants us to sense Him with our emotions. And He wants the Holy Spirit to be able to use our emotions as He uses us to minister to others. The Father sometimes wants us to feel what He feels when we minister to or pray for others, and we can’t do that unless our emotions are free! Start the process today of releasing the weights from your emotions so that the Father can use you; spirit, soul, and body!