Summary: Remember, our emotions were designed by God and though they have been damaged by our sin or the sins of others, Jesus wants to bring health and healing to every area of our being.

When we meet each other, what are the first questions we usually ask? How are you? And how do we normally answer? “I’m fine, how are you?” and then answering with what we have been doing, or how we have been physically speaking, not necessarily with what we have been thinking about, experiencing spiritually or emotionally. Most of us tend to only share our deepest emotions with those closest to us, people we trust.

Today, we are going to be talking about emotions. Because God created us in His image, He created us with emotions which are an inherent part of our being. Our emotions are intricately linked with thoughts, beliefs, and judgments which are at the core of our hearts or person. God sees us as a whole person - you cannot divorce how you think from how you feel (Prov 23:7). As we grow physically and mentally, hopefully our emotions mature and develop at the same time so that we learn to respond to various situations in an honest, yet appropriate way, guided by and established in truth. This is what we call emotional intelligence or EQ. Proverbs is teaching us how to develop a healthy EQ so that we can properly assess what is happening and then respond accordingly.

Prov 15:18 says,

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger and patient calms disputes (AMP).

For example, how do we handle conflict - we can either respond to confrontation or attacks on our character, by retaliating and making things much worse or as an emotionally intelligent person can be cool-headed and patient which can disarm the dispute. Why do we need God’s wisdom?

Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are those who hold on to her (Pro 3:17-18 NASB).

In the next few weeks in the book of Proverbs, we will discover how living wisely or foolishly can have negative or positive emotional consequences, for yourself and for others around you. If we respond to life’s challenges with godly wisdom, we will be blessed spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Our emotions are...

Designed by God

Damaged by Sin (but as new creations when we submit ourselves to God our emotions can be)

Delivered by Truth

Our emotions are:

1. Designed by God

There are numerous references regarding emotions, both God’s and human emotions throughout the Scriptures. God, who created our emotions, certainly has emotions of His own. Consider the following passages:

God rejoices over His people (Isa. 62:5)

He is grieved by sin (Ps. 78:40; Eph. 4:30)

He is angry with those who are stubborn and rebellious (Ex. 32:10)

He has compassion on those who love Him (Ps. 103:13). And Jesus was moved with compassion on the large crowd that was waiting expectantly because they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). So it says He started teaching them many things.

He hates sin (Pro 6:16)

He loves us with an everlasting love (Isa. 54:8; Ps. 103:17)

God doesn't just want us to know what He thinks about us but wants us to know how He feels about us. He doesn’t just want us to know we are loved but He wants us to experience His love to the fullest. How do we experience His love and compassion? Through the Holy Spirit who pours out God’s love to our hearts, from other Christians, being in the body of Christ, through friends and family and through an ongoing relationship with the Lord.

God speaks to us through the Word, and His Spirit speaks to our spirit to stir us up mentally and emotionally, in order to move us, not manipulate us into action. When God created humankind, He gave us a full range of emotions. God designed these specific emotions for specific purposes and functions. It is through His Word we learn how our emotions can function in a healthy way. Understanding God’s design and order for emotions is an essential pre-requisite to understanding when our emotions are functioning appropriately or inappropriately. Let’s never think that just because we feel something honestly and effortlessly and sincerely that it is always right.

When we hold the Word up to what we are experiencing emotionally, we can naturally and correctly speak of any given emotional response as being warranted or unwarranted, rational or irrational, realistic or unrealistic, sensible or foolish. God gives us practical wisdom and guidelines for living physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy lives. One Hebrew scholar said,

An emotionally healthy person enjoys physical well-being and that well-being affects our demeanor and is reflected in one’s appearance (Prov 15:13). On the other hand, destructive emotions (like envy and greed) can destroy one's inner peace and can be destructive to others (Prov 15:30).

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