Don't Hide Your Feelings
"Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when laughter ends, the grief remains. " Proverbs 14:13 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Most of us have some degree of trouble admitting our true feelings and being able to express them, especially if we are struggling with life-controlling problems. But throughout the Bible, God encourages us to know our feelings and not keep them hidden inside. Jesus set an example for us: He had emotions and he expressed them. He cried. He got angry. He was sad.
We often hide the way we feel behind a defense to keep our real self from showing through. Inside we may feel fearful or angry or sad, but we hide those feelings by joking … or acting superior … or being silent … or employing some other defense. We may try to cover our sadness with laughter, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
Hiding our feelings can give them control over our lives. Unexpressed anger or fear or guilt can have a destructive influence on everything we do. Hidden shame and sadness are roadblocks to hope and healing.
If you have been hiding your true feelings, has your "cover-up" helped? Or have you learned first-hand that when the laughter ends, the grief remains? Admitting your feelings can be a turning point. Be honest with yourself. And with God. And then with a friend. Being real will open the door for healing.
Lord, I've been hiding my feelings for a long time, but I know now it's time to be honest. Help me to be real. Help me to share my real feelings with my loved ones. Set me free. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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