Well, The short answer to the title of this post is "YES!" . The problem is, for most of us, that we don't know how, or even where to begin, and so we stumble about just trying to do the best we can with what we've got. What if there were some guidelines or scriptures to help you get some perspective and get your footing again? Well, there is!
I used a lot of scripture in my last post on this topic, published just 2 days ago, here. You might want to read it first, if you haven't already. This next post is going to dive into how we manage our emotions and heal. There will be another entry on this topic on Friday.
Since, I'm taking a Biblical approach, I'm going to start off by stating that it is my opinion that "The Church", at best largely ignores emotions and at worst it demeans, dismisses and devalues them. The number of people who I have met, either in person or on social media, who have been hurt by church leaders/pastors, church members and other individuals calling themselves "Christians" just astounds me. I count myself among those numbers as well. I've been criticized, gaslighted, dismissed and often laughed at as well. It has stored up a lot of hurt in me, to be honest. I had, and still have, a hard time with a lot of it, but I'm learning and growing. I choose to allow God to take those hurts and teach me how to help others. That's what Hebrews 5 encourages me to do. I strongly desire to be positive about my past and my pain, using it all for good in the kingdom of God and for the benefit of others. It is not easy. I still have days where all I want to do is cry and stay in bed. It is so hard for me to reconcile the behavior of others "Christians" with what I read in the bible and know about God's love for me, Christian literally means "relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings". I am not the one to decide the fate of other human beings, but we are to know others by their fruit and I can tell you that I see a lot of rotten fruit. It pains me. I can honestly tell you that I have wept over learning of how much someone I care about has been hurt by someone claiming to be born again and of the Christian faith. So, when someone comes to "The Church" with some emotional wounds, seeking counsel, they are often wounded all over again. It does nothing to stop the cycle. Emotional injury does not just occur inside of religion, or spirituality, but it should be a place where we can go for comfort, guidance and wise counsel. Whether you have been hurt by family, friends or other Christians, I hope you will find some hope in this post.
Emotions are not ignored in the Bible. You will find, within its pages, that The Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), reveals a wealth of emotionality. The Holy Spirit actually reveals a very rich emotional side and this is given to us, as Believers (and as Humans, created in His image) to greatly impact our emotional lives. Our emotional health is a very significant and important aspect of our spiritual lives. We can enjoy a fullness, as we work with The Holy Spirit, learning sound spiritual foundations.
Many would prefer to dismiss emotions all together, perhaps filing them under "insignificant", but emotions are always there and they represent our inner world, giving detail and definition, to both the inner workings of ourselves and a running commentary on the world around us. Emotions are a lot of things, but insignificant is not one them. Life begins with emotion! It requires that we seek understanding them. The presence of emotions is consistent and continual; We can't do anything in life without the involvement of emotion. We would never know the joy of a new birth, a baby's laugh or first steps, pride in an accomplishment, sadness over death..... We literally can't function as loving, kind and compassionate beings without emotions.
Simply put, we can't hide from our emotions, although many are trying to do just that. They trick themselves into thinking they are coping, working through them, but they are living a bit dangerously! Suppressed emotions will re-surface and most of the time they do so when it's very inconvenient. We can be walking along and out of the blue, a song, a smell, a word, a place will trigger a memory that sends us back in time, emotionally speaking, to a place that we thought we had forgotten. Your body and your subconscious never forgets. Suppressed emotions can cause physical issues as well. (Proverbs 17:22) "It is estimated that 90 percent of all physical problems have psychological roots. That may sound like a gross exaggeration. In fact, it's probably a conservative estimate. A growing body of evidence indicates that virtually every ill that can befall the body--from acne to arthritis, headaches to heart disease, cold sores to cancer---is influenced, for better or worse, by our emotions" (Quoted from The Complete Guide To Your Emotions And Your Health, p 563, by Emrika Padus and the editors of Prevention Magazine) Whether you deal with feelings now, or much later, the effects of them will have influence somewhere, sometime in your life. If you'd like more information on how suppressed emotions can influence physical health, then I suggest this book. It has a wealth of information and has helped me personally on my path to find emotional healing.
I'll use myself as an example. Most of my life, at least for many years of it, I have struggled with the thought and feeling that "I'm not important. What I have to say doesn't matter and no one wants to listen to me". It become more intense in the past 22+ years, prior to that time, it was a mostly fleeting thought or feeling that I could easily chase away. As a result, in the last 22 years I have dealt with depression, anxiety, gut issues and general body aches. Sleeplessness, headaches and and over all feeling of fatigue as well. I've even had panic attacks. I'd still be there if it weren't for the fact I took back control and started speaking truth and life to myself. That's a really important point I want to make, if no one else around you will speak truth and life to you, DO IT YOURSELF. I'd google scriptures about what God thought I was, have a certain son on repeat that ministered to me and I would write out post it's and stick them in my work space to remind me. If you don't have a close friend to do this for you, then BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. You have to love yourself enough to do this for you. I tell you this so that you can see that I'm not someone who hasn't felt, or experienced, intense emotions. I speak from experience and as someone who has been in a dark place before. Some emotions can be so deep, so strong that they take your breath away. And it's scary. Our fight or flight kicks in, our body's protective mechanism, and we have the strongest urge to RUN! Friend, you can't run from feelings like you can run from an animal that's chasing you, your feelings go with you. So, the best thing you can do is stand and deal. (Ephesians 6:13)
We must put on our full armor and stand our ground even when dealing with emotions. They are weapons of the enemy too. They rob us of our potential and keep us from our purpose. They drink us down slowly.... until we feel like a shell of ourselves, empty inside, like everything has been sucked out of us. All light, life and joy is covered over by the amount of emotional pain we are drowning in. (1 Peter 5:8) God provided the Earth for us, food to consume and a savior---What makes you think He left out a provision for emotional health? He did not. He's God. He knows our need before we do. He anticipated it all perfectly. (Isaiah 43:15-16, 41:10, 41:13 and 43:19)
I see so many people struggling, straining--fighting their own emotions, seeking to escape them in un-Godly, unhealthy ways that sabotage their own success. They are basically working against themselves with addictions (sex, alcohol, drugs, shopping, social media and more), over eating, self medicating to fall asleep, to wake up... mind numbing prescriptions to escape their feelings. It hurts my heart. It is not supposed to be like that. These choices will only temporarily mask the issues, they will never get to the root of the problem and they all lead to bigger problems, sometimes permanent. Psychiatric drug are not as safe as claimed and have real risks.
As a Believer, we need to be aware that prescription drugs come from man, not from God. Man has meddled with natural creations, formed by our Creator, and manipulated them in a laboratory in un-Godly ways. They manipulate the mind and the body. We need to be mindful of the effect they can have on the human body and the brain. These drugs can open us up to demonic influence and alter us from the way God created us. We, as people and Christians, have to stop running away from our emotions and the collective "church" needs to stop handing out un-Biblical, un-Godly advice to us. This is, in my opinion, their weakest link in their spiritual structure. This has to be part of the foundation or many new, and old, Believers will continue to crumble under the weight of their emotions. The Church can no longer question the validity of emotions: God created us in His image and that includes emotions.
Emotions are an important issue in The Word of God. The management of them is significant to the health of our spiritual life, and our physical well being. They need to be shaped into a tool for us to show the character of Christ. The Holy Spirit is our helper in all things and that includes the natural and the spiritual. His role, as it pertains to our emotions, will take us deeper, into a greater spiritual understanding. Emotions don't equal truth, but do corroborate our understanding of the truth.
We are made in the image of God, an image that includes emotions. Therefore God has emotions. We are also His emotional image, but we need the Holy Spirit to play a role in our emotional life.
I hope you were blessed by this information! I've used most, if not all, of the scriptures I share above as part of my emotional healing journey. I'm still on it and have not "arrived". I just strive to be better each day than the day before. In my next post, I'll share about some things I do in the natural to help me find emotional balance and healing.