Summary: This week we will address the emotional area of the 7 areas of our lives that we give up (7UP) to God’s control to be a holistic community that follows Jesus.
Read ‘Em and Weep
September 21, 2008
This week we are going to address the emotional area of our lives that we need to give over to God. Of the seven areas that we are to give up to God (7UP to God), these is probably one of the most desperately needed areas for people. It is the one often ignored. The corresponding deadly sin is an easy one: wrath. When we give up to God all of our emotions, our entire emotional health, our emotional maturity, then we find the strength and help that we need to respond to people in appropriate ways. Obviously, then this has a great effect upon the social arena of our lives as well.
Speaking of emotions especially those intense emotions such wrath and weeping I saw this story.
An elderly lady came upon street evangelist who was trying to get the attention of passersby. He urged those near him to flee from the wrath to come.
"I warn you," he roared, "that there will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!"
She replied snidely: "I have no teeth!"
"Lady," the evangelist retorted, "teeth will be provided!"
This morning I am going to focus on Jesus and the shortest verse in the bible: Jesus wept. So as we follow Jesus here, we will see how Jesus is an emotional healthy and mature being who is aware of his feelings, why he is feeling this way, as well as the feelings of others. So let’s look at these words found in John 11:33-35 and let’s read ‘em and weep. Here Jesus has just arrived to heal a good friend and brother to Mary and Martha named Lazarus but Lazarus has died and everyone believes that Jesus has arrived too late.
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked.
"Come and see, Lord," they replied.
Our emotional healthy is a tough thing for many people. Culture teaches people to remain emotionally as children. Turn on afternoon TV and you will see those “talk shows” that celebrate how I got back at my ex without him knowing it. Classic passive-aggressive behavior.
Churches have neglected this issue for decades assuming that if one reads their bible, says a few prayers, and goes to church three times a week, then that person is spiritually mature. It was assumed that spiritually mature people have arrived at a pinnacle of development and they would automatically be emotionally mature as well.
But this would be WRONG! Incorrect. And you get no credit for you’re the answer. NADA. Nothing. What was assumed to be a fact, is in reality a big problem.
When I was in seminary I had a question on one of the exams in Dr. Stafford’s class that was something like: according to Webber what are the five areas of responsible worship. I could picture this section in my mind. It was on the second page of chapter eight. I knew exactly where it was but I couldn’t remember what the specifics where. So I put down exactly where it was in the book and I was absolutely right. But of course, my answer was absolutely wrong and I received no points for that question.