Understanding Emotions. Lesson 1 PT 1
God’s Word is the key God has given to man to understand himself. As we turn to God’s Word in order to understand emotions, we will not find emotions treated as a separate subject. The Bible isn’t written that way. Rather, the Bible shares the unfolding story of God’s work with mankind, and the subject of emotions from God’s perspective is found intertwined throughout the pages of sacred script.
Indeed, one does not have to read far into the Genesis account until he senses the emotion of pleasure and satisfaction on God’s part as He examines His newly formed creation. Seven times in Genesis 1, God looked at what He had done, and calls it good. Likewise, in the story of mankind, one can almost sense the emotion of loneliness that Adam must have experienced after a day of naming the animals and not finding a help meet for him. We certainly identify the negative emotions of shame on the part of Adam and Eve when they heard the voice of God coming to meet them, and Cain’s anger as his sacrifice was rejected.
Emotions are a part of the human story. We all know what it is like to have a full range of feelings. We welcome some emotions such as joy or courage, and avoid others such as fear or guilt.
The dictionary says that emotions are “an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.” In more simple terms emotions are feelings in contrast to deliberate thoughts or decisions made by the will.
Each person faces the challenge of managing his emotions. From childhood to old age we have feelings, some times very powerful and seemingly out of control. In fact, at times it may seem that they have control over us.
Questions to ponder:
1.Where will we find God’s viewpoint on emotions?
2. How do our emotions differ from our thoughts?
3. How should the emotions of a grandparent be different from that of a child?
4. Since emotions are defined as not being a part of what we would deliberately choose, is that to mean we have no control over them?