08 March 2011

Building Better Relationships Chapter 6

Befriending Your Emotions

What I loved about this chapter was that our emotions are neutral, they are neither good or bad.  Sometimes we need the reminder.

Psalm 6: 1-10

1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
   or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
   heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
   How long, LORD, how long?
 4 Turn, LORD, and deliver me;
   save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
   Who praises you from the grave?

 6 I am worn out from my groaning.
   All night long I flood my bed with weeping
   and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
   they fail because of all my foes.

 8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
   for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
   the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
   they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame. 

Here, David comes to God with his emotions.  David was called a man after God's own heart.  David wrote the Psalms as ways of communicating his heart to God.  David went through many difficult times when Saul hated him and wanted him killed.  He had many enemies and was fearful for his life.  And yet his first response was to cry out to God with his emotions.  And by the end of the Psalm it was as if David had more peace about the situation.  Why is that?  When we take our emotions to God, our worries, our fears, our concerns, our burdens and we talk them through with our creator, somehow God is able to give us a peace about the situation because we realize who is in charge, who is our Help, and who is our refuge.   What a comfort it is to have a relationship with God.  To be able to be open and honest and bare our soul to the one who created us. 

Here are some great points the author brought up:

*Emotions are our initial, involuntary response to a situation or person.

*Emotions are neutral, neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, silly nor sensible.

*Emotions resist change.  When we wish to feel happy, we may feel sad.  When everyone wants to celebrate, we might feel like crying.  Because we feel out of control when emotions won't obey our commands, we sometimes build a thick inner wall of protection to keep us from feeling anything, or we bury unpleasant emotions deep in the pit of our stomachs.  Only to suffer from stomach acid.  Either of these choices is dangerous because each has far-reaching future consequences.:

1. If we build up our wall to keep out certain emotions, we risk losing all emotions-pleasant or painful.  We could shut down, unable to experience life to the fullest.

2. Buried emotions refuse to stay buried. As author John Powell writes, "When I repress my emotions, my stomach keeps score."

In Psalm 6 David expresses feelings of distress, a troubled soul, weariness from inner groanings, and grief.  When he expresses his emotions he realized that God heard him and that it was almost sinful to be in such despair.  I learned that I need to go straight to the Lord with my feelings of sadness and despair, and even when I get anxious (which is very often with two toddlers).  Having alone time with God and sharing my feelings and listening for God's wisdom does bring comfort.

When those negative emotions come it is up to us to draw closer to God, cry out to Him and expect Him to answer!  God is our strength.  He is the one who allows us to rejoice each morning.  We need to rely on that dependence on Him.

Also, remember that other people's emotions should be allowed and considered.  WE should be ready and willing and listening with understanding as opposed to judging or criticizing.  That's not what God does for us and so we should not have a superior type of spirit.

I learned a lot through this lesson.  Hope you did too!


  1. I'm not so good at hiding emotions, which can be a good and a bad thing. Good because I get things off my chest, but bad because I find myself saying things in the heat of the moment! But thankfully, I know God is still working with me on this. =)

  2. I've been dealing with emotions alot this week. Thank you!

  3. Kristi - Besides the fact that you make a lot of good points here - you are a very good writer. You could probably write for a living if you could find the right publishing connections. I'll be reading your blog more often from now on!


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