12 April 2015 by Esperanza Ng CM-
Are emotions a good thing? So often, the phrase “swept away by emotions” is laden with negative implications, and no wonder. We see people make rash decisions, hurt one another, indulge or engage in strange or immoral behavior and do things that are just plain dumb—all in the name of emotions—and so naturally, we resort to thinking that emotions are shallow, frivolous, and un-intellectual.
“Think with your head and not your heart!” they say. Then again, imagine what this world would be without emotions. Imagine if God had thought only with His head and not His heart. For God so loved? The world that He gave His only begotten Son… (John 3:16)? What? Why would He do that?
The one thing that I have learned about emotion is that it is two-fold. First, there is emotion. The crazy, happy-go-lucky, passion driven, hormone induced, fluctuating, unstable emotion. This is the kind of emotion that causes girls to giggle and blush, boys to punch each other in the face, and moms to yell at their kids on bad hair days. I see this sort of emotion as flowers on a tree. They bloom, they wilt, they are colorful and vibrant, but they also brown and fall to the ground. It is often unexplainable and illogical, and thought has little to do with it.
Then, there is emotion. The solemn, deep, heart wrenching, gut clenching, life changing, enduring, solid emotion. This is the kind of emotion that causes a parent to welcome home a rebellious child, a man and woman to say “I do” before a crowd of witnesses, sinners to fall on their knees before a Holy God and receive the gift of forgiveness, and a Holy God to send His Son into a fallen world. I see this sort of emotion as the roots of that same tree. It is deeply rooted, strong, unflinching, and hidden. It is often illogical and unexplainable, but thought has much to do with it.
The difference between emotion and emotion is the thought process that emotion has undergone. The fact of the matter is that emotion and intellect can go hand in hand, and when they do, they result in emotion. The budding flowers on at the top of the tree are mere beginnings of emotions that dig down deep and strong, but the trunk which separates the emotion from emotion represents the intellectual part of who we are. Therefore to make the sweeping statement that emotion is all feeling and no thought would be inaccurate, because the reality is that the strongest of emotions are the ones that truly understand things beyond the intellectual process.
As human beings, we have been created as spiritual, intellectual, and emotional entities. These things make up who we are. Therefore in order for us to truly experience God, we cannot separate one from another. To try to be intellectual without being emotional or spiritual, or to be emotional without being spiritual or intellectual, or to be spiritual without being emotional or intellectual, would be disastrous if not impossible.
This being said, emotions are not bad—we just have to be careful not to forget to use our heads as well when we think with our hearts. It is emotion that allows us to enjoy the life we have been given; it is emotion that causes us to want to give back to our Creator and to sing His praises at the top of our lungs.
Without emotion, we might as well be dead. It is because of emotion, we are able to say this and know with absolute certainty (absurd or illogical as it may sound): “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John. 3.16)!
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