So what am I supposed to do with my emotions?


As continued from last week

I pour out my complaint before him, before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. Psalm 142:2-3

Last fall, I went through a Beth Moore study on David. It rocked my world. One specific lesson focused on Psalm 142. (go ahead and read it for yourself!)

When looking at this passage, we see the 6 ways David acted when he was overwhelmed and fearful (which, if you need me to spell this out for you, are EMOTIONS)

1. prayed
2. cried aloud
3. poured out his complaint to God
4. rehearsed his trust in God
5. longed for God’s presence
6. and confessed his desperate need
*these are Beth Moore’s, not mine.

And this was my huge DUH lesson I alluded to in last week’s post. I realized that I almost never pour my complaint (my emotions) before God. I typically shove my feelings so far down, I don’t even utter them in my prayers. But if you spent just 10 minutes, flipping through the Psalms, you’d see that a lot of the time David is simply communicating his emotions to God.

So why don’t I do this?

I think I’m afraid that communicating negative emotions will come across as complaining. I don’t want to really share any other emotion except gratitude, trust, love, joy. I think that by communicating to God what is bugging or hurting me, I will come across as ungrateful or untrusting.

Or sometimes I think that my problem is small and it would be a bother to God. Somewhere I’ve bought the lie that it’s immature or maybe even sinful to have those negative feelings or even somehow diminish God’s power or prove my lack of trust in Him. Instead, I should just ignore the feelings, rehearse my trust in God, and focus on reminding myself of God’s faithfulness & trustworthiness.

But that is certainly not what David modeled. I think that sharing our emotions with our Creator is one of the most important things we can do. Maybe that sounds cliche–just share your feelings with Jesus through prayer–but I really do believe that it is the best way to respond at first. Communicating your fears, hurts, disappointments, and those good feelings too, allow us to validate our emotions and look to the Lord for comfort.

Beth Moore said it best, Our feelings are worth sharing with God whether or not they accurately describe the truth.

Until recently, I didn’t believe this. Because I so often I doubted the truth of my feelings (I mean, the heart is deceitful!), I thought it was a WASTE to pour them before God’s feet. But as David models for us, the only way we can find help is by bringing all our feelings and emotions to the foot of the cross.

What do you think? Do you pour out your emotion before the Lord? Do you trust Him with it? Or do you think you have to put on a strong face, even for your Creator?