Friday, July 29, 2011

Loving God with Our Emotions:

You have heard it said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" - Mark 12:30. Jesus is telling us to love God with our everything. He is admonishing us to love God with our emotions (heart), our inner-man (soul), our intellect (mind), and our actions (strength). Loving God involves all of these expressions.

With such a clear directive from our Savior, it is surprising that there is a segment of the evangelical community that continues to shun loving God with our emotions. These teachers indirectly and sometimes intentionally tell people that an emotional experience with the Lord or an expression of emotions toward the Lord is somehow "less than" or even heretical and unbiblical. This argument often surrounds the selection of corporate worship songs.

Where does this war against emotions come from? It does not come from the Bible or the heart of God. I often wonder if the people who instruct against loving God with our emotions are people who have issues expressing their emotions and therefore have created an emotionless world and theology.

Again, Jesus instructs us to love God with our emotions. In the greek, the word "heart" is regarded as the seat of emotion, feeling, impulse, affection, desire. The Lord created us to experience and to express emotions. He gave us these qualities because He created us in His image and He created us in order to love Him rightly. King David is called "the man after God's heart." King David was a man of emotions. Just read the Psalms. In many ways, the Psalms were given to us by God to encourage and highlight the involvement of our emotions in our love of HIm. Our passionate God created us to be passionate. He wants more than just our dutiful service and our understanding of His truth - He also wants our emotions.

Loving God and worshipping HIm must include our everything: emotions, inner-man, intellect, and actions. To diminish any of these expressions of love is to rob people of the relationship God created them to have with Him. To diminish and discourage any of these expressions, including the involvement of our emotions, is to rob the Lord of the complete love from His precious children for which His Son gave His life. God loves it when we get emotional for Him and because of Him.

While it can be dangerous and ill advised to base our doctrine on emotions and feelings, it is also dangerous and ill advised to allow our doctrine to remove our emotions from our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen! Someone the other day said that my response to a certain issue was full of emotion, or something like that, as if that was a bad thing. Jesus experienced emotions and He even had righteous indignation, which was not sin and didn't turn into sin.

Also, I think crying in church is okay. I can't tell you how many times people have called me after church asking if everything was all right because I was sobbing. It's the Holy Spirit and the heart!

I think more people should cry at church and not hold back. We need to be moved by God.

-Becky

Princess Daisy said...

Amen I agree with both the post and he comment.

Susan said...

I did not know God until He cut through to my heart with His word and I felt Him. This blog is so right onto the intimate relationship Jesus wants to have with each of us, and it makes me "happy" to have you express the same sentiment by encouraging all of us to love the Lord with all our heart :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this post. When God touches us in any way, I really think it SHOULD evoke emotion. If we cannot respond with emotion (tears, joy, whatever) toward the living God, I wonder why. Have we lost our ability to truly love Him? But then again, many have been hurt in their lives and have turned off their emotions to avoid getting too close to anyone -- perhaps even God. I pray we can show them the true nature of the God we know. He loves them deeply even if they cannot show their love toward Him... yet. :-)