"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."1
Imagine living in a world without emotions. It would be like living in a world without color—a world without blue skies, white fluffy clouds, red roses, or beautiful rainbows and sunsets. Everything would be a dull monotonous gray. Life would be deadly dull and boring—as it is when emotions are repressed.
Like many others, especially men, I grew up being taught that feelings weren't important and that you couldn't trust them."
Thank God it isn't so. Feelings are God-given. They are an inner monitor letting us know what is going on inside of us. The more we are in touch with our true emotions, the more they can inform us when our life is out of harmony and we need an emotional tune up, caution us of impending danger, warn us when we are around unsafe people, affirm us when we are with safe people, guide us when we have major decisions to make, keep us in tune with God's leading, and assure us when our life is in harmony with others and God. Admittedly, if we don't understand them, they can confuse us and get us tied in knots!
Feelings are a gift from God. To deny and repress them we now know can be disastrous, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The first three fruits of God's Spirit—love, joy, and peace—are emotions. Thus, if our emotion of love is repressed, how can God’s love flow through us? It can't.
Yes, it may take a while but we can learn to trust our feelings. What we can't always trust is how to interpret them correctly. It can be like learning a new language, but a language well worth learning, without which there can be no true intimacy either with my loved ones or with God.
Another way of describing emotions could be E-Motions or Energy in Motion! One thing is sure. Without emotions we are characteristically bored with life and lose our energy and our drive. Thank God for emotions.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as you desire truth in the innermost being,2 please deliver me from the 'sin of denying my true emotions,' help me to get in touch with my true feelings and inner self, and learn how to understand them and express them creatively when such is needed. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Galatians 5:22 (NIV).
2. Psalm 51:6.