We are beginning a new sermon series on managing our emotions. We will take a look at joy, fear/anxiety, anger/stress, depression, and uncertainty. I am not much of a “touchy feely person, so preaching a sermon series on it was not really at the top of my list. But I am not the one who gets to decide. And God has a peculiar sense of humor.
I am a good westerner. I like to pretend I don’t have emotions. We westerners like to stuff our emotions. And Western Christians have mostly come to the conclusion that emotions are of the devil.
Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz) suggested to budding writers that they memorize poetry to help with their creativity. I thought that was great advice. Except I hate poetry. I hate poetry because it is filled with emotive language that makes you…well, feel something. As a new Christian I didn’t even like to read the Psalms! I mean emotions just get in the way.
At least that is what I used to believe. We think our emotions keep us from being logical and reasonable. But emotions that are under control (or under the control of the Holy Spirit) can actually help us to be more logical and reasonable. God gave us emotions for a reason. We just need to understand how to interpret and control our emotions for the good.
Sunday we are going to take a look at fear. Fear is a great emotion that God gave us. It keeps us from doing stupid stuff (like in that movie JackA**). It keeps us from saying stupid stuff (like what you said at your last family gathering). And it keeps us from making stupid decisions. But fear can also keep us from living the life God intended for us to live. Sometimes it keeps us from speaking when we SHOULD speak. Sometimes it keeps us from acting when we SHOULD act. And sometimes it keeps us from taking risks that change the world.
Come Sunday! We will hear what God has to say about fear. And hopefully we will all learn to trust the One who calls us to follow Him.