This week's small group curriculum helps us keep our emotions in their proper place as we continue to "live like we were dying".
God has given us the ability to feel emotions. It is what makes us feel alive. However, we must not allow our emotions to control us. Rather, we must submit our emotions to the Lordship of Christ and let the truth of God’s Word be our guide.
God created humanity with an amazing emotional capacity. The Book of Psalms records the emotional rollercoaster ride of King David, the man after God’s own heart. When he’s happy, he feels happiness to the core of his being. And when he is sad, he embraces his despair without reservation. He feels deeply. And at times, his feelings lead him astray. But somewhere along this journey, David seems to discover that as important as feelings are, they are only one part of his total being, and certainly not the most important part. The emotional aspect of our being coexists with our intellectual, physical and spiritual aspects. Every person will build the foundation of his or her life upon one of these four foundations: the emotional, the intellectual, the physical, or the spiritual. And among those foundations, feelings are important but they are not the most important because you are not your feelings. For that matter, you are not your body or your intellect. You are fundamentally a spiritual being.
There are three dangers when we build our lives on our feelings. First, feelings can be distorted. The enemy likes to manipulate our circumstances and our senses in an attempt to throw us off balance. Second, feelings can be imported. Sometimes we have a way of feeling what has been forced on us rather what is truly within us. And third, feelings can be aborted; they can change in a moment. The danger of building our lives on our feelings is that we may not feel the same way about a situation tomorrow as we feel today. Feelings come and feelings go. As Christians, the way we must deal with our feelings is by choosing to believe God’s Word over what we hear, feel, or even experience. Our emotions are the servants of our will. Our feelings are the fruit of what we believe. So instead of struggling to change our feelings, we must begin to work on our belief system and our feelings will follow course.
Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)
How do our thoughts affect our emotions and ultimately how we approach life? In addition to prayer, discuss other practical things that we can do to guard our hearts and our minds.
How do we renew our minds and keep our emotions from running away and conforming us to this world? Share something that you have read recently in the Bible that has transformed your mind and thus kept your emotions in check.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
How do you know if an emotion is healthy or unhealthy? How can we take our thoughts and emotions captive? How have your emotions lied to you? How does the truth of God’s Word speak to those issues and areas in your life? (Example: Your emotions might say you are worthless. But, God’s Word says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.)
Taking Action: Spend time reading God’s Word every morning this week. Meditate on what you have read, and ask the Holy Spirit how this Truth can form your thinking and direct your emotions throughout each day.