Thursday, March 19, 2009


We all have troubling emotions which we aren’t sure how to handle. It seems that with each person we ask, we get conflicting advice which leads us to even more confusion and frustration. Maybe it would be helpful to all of us if we spend some time chatting about this.

Although it is not a perfect example, I would like to use the cock-pit of an airplane for an analogy. The many gauges, signals and alarms necessary for reliable flight can be totally overwhelming to those unfamiliar with them. However, a competent pilot is very aware that proper and safe handling of the plane is dependent upon scrupulous attention to each and every one of these measuring devices. Ignoring even one of these warning signals as if it holds no importance could be fatal to the pilot and those entrusted into his care.

I have found in my own life and in mentoring others that this is also true of our emotions.

If we ignore our emotions, we risk the spitting, sputtering and eventual dying–out of our mental health. We can attempt to manipulate our emotions, only to find ourselves repeatedly spinning out of control in the heavy fog of their intensity. Each time we ignore the warning signals of our emotions, the destruction we bring into our own lives and those around us increases.

Yet, hurting people are often advised, “You need to ‘forget what is behind (i.e. their painful past) and strain toward what is ahead (i.e. their heavenly future).’ [Phil. 3:13] If only you had genuine faith in Jesus, a painful past would have no affect on your current life. Don’t you know that “the old has gone and the new has come?” [2 Cor. 5:17] You simply need to choose to “forgive and forget.” You have to realize that you won’t find the “peace that passes all understanding” [Phil. 4:7] until you learn to put your past behind you and move on. All you need is Jesus!

This advice, offered by well meaning Christians, often leaves wounded people confused and discouraged, once again heaped with more guilt and shame. Despite all the effort they can muster, the dark and consuming memories just don’t seem to go away. So what is the answer? What does a person do with these troubling emotions?

Can we learn to assess our emotions as a pilot learns to read and evaluate his gauges? Can we prevent “fatalities” in our lives by learning to accurately interpret their warning signs and responding appropriately?

What do you say we explore God’s Word together? Maybe putting the Bible verses we just mentioned in their proper context will eliminate some confusion. We can then work together toward identifying applicable biblical guidance that is more reassuring and helpful.


1 comment:

  1. I really think that if we go to the Lord and ask him for help with our emotions he will send someone to us. Someone we can talk things through with someone objective and someone safe. Someone who will mentor and deciple us, someone who will go to the Lord with us and for us. James 5:16 says to confess our sins to one another that we should be healed. This has been true in my own life.