Your Emotions Serve a Purpose
By Rick Warren
“The most important commandment is this . . . ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’” Mark 12:29-30 (NLT)
Jesus says God doesn’t want you to just kind of love him. He wants you to love him passionately—"with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30).
Do you hear the emotion in the words of Jesus? He wants more than your head knowledge. He wants an emotional relationship with you.
Here are some things you need to understand about emotions:
God has emotions. Yes, God is emotional. He feels joy, grief, anger, and pain. He even feels hatred toward sin. You have emotions, too, because you’re made in God’s image. If God wasn’t an emotional God, you wouldn’t have any emotions.
Your ability to feel is a gift from God. Emotions make you human. Your emotional ability allows you to love and create. Your emotions help you to be faithful, loyal, kind, and generous. Your emotions help you experience all the feelings that are attached to the good things in life. Your emotions may not always seem like a gift, but even negative emotions have a purpose.
There are two emotional extremes to avoid. One extreme is emotionalism. Emotionalism says the only thing that matters in life is how you feel—not what you think or what’s right or wrong. With emotionalism, everything in life is based on your emotions; emotions control your life.
The other extreme is stoicism. Stoicism says feelings aren’t important at all, and the only things that matter are your intellect and your will. Christians who follow this approach downplay their emotions.
The truth is, God gave you your emotions for a reason. And he wants you to worship him with all your heart as well as your mind, soul, and strength.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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