Fully Alive in Our Emotions
Updated: Jun 20, 2021
What does it mean to be fully alive in our emotions? A common goal of humanity is to become fully human and fully alive. This means that every part of us, including our thought processes and our emotional life, is functioning in all the ways God intended. What does it mean to be fully alive in our emotions? A common goal of humanity is to become fully human and fully alive. This means that every part of us, including our thought processes and our emotional life, is functioning in all the ways God intended.God created the emotions, but what is their purpose? It would be so much easier if we could get up every morning in a state of happiness and eat, sleep and go about our day unhindered by anger, fear or sadness.
Emotion is an interior reaction to stimuli from an inner or outer source. The word is derived from the Latin word MOTUS. The root of that word means move or movement. An emotion is something that moves us.
There are two ways the emotions are triggered. The first one is a response to events that are happening to us in the present. Perhaps I get into an argument and that conflict moves me to become angry. The second trigger to emotion is memory. The emotion I feel when calling up a memory will either cripple me or strengthen me.
Close your eyes and think of someone that has caused you extreme pain. It could be years ago when you were a child—a parent who wasn’t there for you, or a teacher that shamed you. Most of us can go to a memory very quickly, and we experience again the negative emotion that we felt when the event occurred.
Now close your eyes and think of someone who loves you unconditionally. It could be a school teacher, a parent, a scout leader or a best friend. It could be someone from your past, or maybe it is someone in your life right now. The person who thinks we are the greatest person in the world brings up delightful emotions in us!
In my hometown, Lizzy and Alec lived next door down a little path. They were married about 60 years and never had children. When things weren’t that great at home, or I had displeased my mother, I would go see Lizzy and Alec. She made me cookies and she let me drink coffee. When I showed up at their house, I was the most important person in their world! They felt the same way about my brother. Sometimes my mother would go over and complain about me, and Lizzy would say, Are you talking about little Judy? Couldn’t have been her! This is why I think Lizzy was wonderful!
There are always emotions attached to memories. Studies have shown that negative memories can actually weaken our physical bodies. Positive, life-giving memories with positive emotions attached to them strengthen our immune system. Emotions create energy in our body. They are designed to make something happen quickly. Think of a caveman. He is out hunting and a saber-tooth tiger appears. The man screams and he gets a rush of adrenaline and hormones—everything he needs to get out of that situation quickly. That is a fear response. Contrast that to someone living in an abusive relationship. This person is on alert 24/7—they are afraid they or their child is going to be hurt. This type of situation can move a person into crippled emotions and post-traumatic stress. The human body and mind are not designed to hold that level of energy over a long period of time.
Emotions produce a mind/body chemical reaction. Emotions are meant to be expressed in natural, healthy ways. Our physical health erodes when we do not deal with our emotions. Emotions are not morally positive or negative, they are simply emotions. What we DO with them is what can be sin. In the scripture it says, Be angry, but sin not. (Ephesians 4:26) When one emotion is out of balance, they are all out of balance. Do you remember the old-time Christmas lights? When one went out, they all went out. When I was a child, we would go out in the woods and cut our own Christmas tree. One year my father brought a tree home while we were in town Christmas shopping; he wanted to surprise us. He decorated the tree and put all the lights on, but he didn’t test them first. When we got home the tree was lying in the front yard, fully decorated! He had gotten so frustrated that the lights didn’t work that he picked up the whole thing and threw it out into the yard.
We can’t pick and choose emotions. If one goes out of balance, they all go out! You can’t suppress a whole bunch of emotions that you don’t want to deal with and then expect to be joyful. They all work on the same circuit. Emotions are part of our humanity and our goal is to express them as Jesus did.
JESUS KNEW ANGER Righteous anger wants to see something set right. In John Chapter 2, we read that Jesus had no problem expressing anger; he was courageous and bold as he drove the moneychangers out of the Temple. He braided a whip, then he got up and turned over all their tables. He opened the dove cages and money scattered everywhere. As he cleared the temple area, He said, You will NOT make my Father ‘s house a den of thieves! That is what righteous anger looks like. He had no personal vendetta or selfish motivation; He wanted his Father honored. JESUS KNEW FEAR As he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said, My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death. Three times Jesus came out to his disciples for comfort and they were sleeping. Jesus, in his humanity needed the support of friends, just as we do. The Father sent an angel to comfort him that night.
JESUS KNEW DEEP SORROW Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and over the grave of his friend Lazarus. As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. (Luke 19:41) Mary, Martha and Lazarus were Jesus’ intimate friends and he would go their home to be renewed and refreshed. Even though Jesus had a very close bond with Lazarus, when he got the message that Lazarus had died, he waited where he was for three days. I believe Jesus was praying for direction. He knew this was going to be a very visible resurrection and he was asking the Father what to do. (John 11) Jesus wept. Was he weeping over Lazarus? I think he was weeping because they still didn’t understand who he was. He wept because of the pain of death that all his children experience.
JESUS KNEW GREAT JOY The mark of the Kingdom is joy. When the seventy-two unnamed disciples returned, it says Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit. That verse could be translated, He jumped up and down for joy! He even sang a song as they celebrated the Passover, before his crucifixion. I think he felt joy when children were brought to him. Joy renews and energizes us. It is a deep-seated emotion and out of it comes gratitude to God and to each other. Our blood pressure goes down and our heartbeat is stabilized when we experience something joyful. The nervous system can reset itself when we are laughing! Let yourself watch a good comedy, or have a belly laugh with friends!
Father, we come to you with grateful hearts, full and overflowing with love for you. Thank you for all your blessings. Guide us through this day and give us your great joy at being in your presence.
Written by Judith MacNutt, Christian Healing Ministires