My Dear Sister in Christ,

Has anyone ever accused you of being too emotional? Emotions are messy. They are not always predictable. You cannot push them aside and just ignore what they are trying to tell you. Being more emotional is part of what it means to be a woman. That is not to say that men are not emotional, but it is more common for women to be lead by (if not actually controlled by) what they feel. It is the compassion of a mother that motivates her to get up in the middle of the night to help a crying or sick child. It is fear for their safety that can give you super-human strength in emergencies to rescue the ones you love. It is the yearning of loneliness that pulls you faithfully through times of separation until you can be reunited with your loved ones. These emotions work to our advantage and can be one of our strengths, but they can also work against us if we allow feelings to control us instead of being in control and keeping them in check.

The greatest danger we will face from unbridled emotion is a blindness to truth. What we feel is very strong, but it does not determine right and wrong. We do not know things are real or true because we feel them. Feelings only make us wish they were true, which may not be the same thing. Not only can we be blinded by wishful thinking, we can be tricked by Satan into ignoring what we know. Eve knew she was not supposed to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Satan gave her excuses to follow what she really wanted to do, and she allowed herself to be deceived by his suggestions and lies. We are far less gullible when we do not have an emotional agenda in our decision making.

On the other hand, we are stronger in opposing sin and evil when we are emotionally set against them. The fear and distaste for sin can be a strong motivation to cleanse our ways and overcome the passing pleasures of sin (Heb 11:25). If we see evil in its true form—that of rebellion against God and the longer-lasting life He wants for us—then it will repulse us, not allure. All this works in our favor once we know for sure what is sin. What we cannot afford to do is rely on our emotions when we are attempting to determine what is true in the first place. The analytical side of our brains (the side men excel in) can weigh truth more clearly. Wishing something to be true will not make it so. Following a particular course because it feels right or seems the most compassionate path will only lead us to be trapped by our good intentions, rather than elevated by good judgment. Look a little farther down the road. What are the consequences? Making someone happy for a moment will not replace their true needs. Invest in the future of all of us by being the best person you KNOW you should be. Hold back on the spontaneous desire to please and gratify long enough to be sure you are serving God, rather than Satan.

Once you are sure your course is fair and just, then put your whole heart into it. Serve with enthusiasm. Be happy in the things God has given you. Make your little world a happier place for all who surround you. That is a beauty that goes beyond analytical acceptance of truth and encourages joy in having it.

Your loving friend,

Laurie Moyer

“It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:7-8