Emotions function as a type of human antennae, alerting us to subtle changes within, as we engage in the world around us. Every feeling has something important to communicate.
For example, anger alerts me to injustices, while grief communicates loss, and fear warns me of potential danger.
God created us as emotional beings, and we do well to listen to and discern what each emotion is revealing.
Whatever the emotion, it gives us valuable information to navigate life.
The problem comes when we let our emotions drive our actions and decisions.
Emotions make great consultants, but bad drivers.
I believe this is part of what the Apostle Paul is getting at when he instructs us to be angry, and do not sin. Being angry is not the problem, letting anger control us is the problem.
Problems come when emotions are in the driver seat. For instance, when anger drives me and I lash out at someone or fear drives me and I’m paralyzed from taking action.
Even when the emotions are pointing out clear issues for me to be aware of and to address, my emotions are not to make the ultimate decision of how to respond. I am.
The goal here is not to repress our emotions or to beat ourselves up for experiencing them – rather, to remember we are not our emotions, and to let them serve us and not us them.
God gave us emotions to help us navigate life. Getting in touch with our emotions gives us rich information and helps us to make wise and good decisions.
At the same time, it is our responsibility to remain in the driver seat and not our emotions.
Let emotions advise you and help you to make sense of life and relationships. But don’t let them drive. The driver seat is reserved for you – rooted and mature.