In my devotional recently I read this:
“Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality. Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God… Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice…”
Ive heard plenty of wisdom on our emotions before, some saying to forget your emotions, others saying to embrace them. It then said this:
“However we often turn a deaf ear – through emotional denial, distortion, or disengagement. We strain out anything disturbing in order to gain tenuous control of our inner world.
Ouch, suddenly that truth hit me. I do that sometimes. Dismiss my emotions using one of those tools. Any of those 3 ways of dismissing emotions strike a chord with you? Emotional denial, distortion or disengagement? They definitely do with me. But what's the problem? Why comes it matter? Then the wise words just kept flowing in my devotional…
“In neglecting our intense emotions, we are false to ourselves and lose a wonderful opportunity to know God. We forget that change comes through brutal honesty and vulnerability before God.”
So basically I was owned in that devotional, one of those 'to the core' moments. We read incredible raw words from David in the Psalms, as he bares all to God. He wants us to do that. He wants us to come to Him before we've processed it, before we've rationalised our emotions, before we deny ourselves of the emotion.
And that's kind of a big deal.
(P.S thanks Dan Allender and Tremper Longman for your 'Cry of the Soul' book – that's where the quotes are from. And for Pete Scazerro and his Daily Office devotional, it's eating me alive at the moment. I love it.)