I currently finished a book that both reinforced what I have learned the last few years and challenged me to take the next step. I won’t give away the title yet, that’s for next week’s blog. But the topic this book touched on is emotional maturity.
Huh? What? Yeah, I never heard that term before either. But once I started reading this book, I knew what the author was talking about. It is something I have come to learn in my own Christian walk: the need to be honest with both God and ourselves.
More often than not, we as Christians are encouraged to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. We need to live a balanced life. But rarely are we encouraged to take a look at the emotional part of our lives or how to balance it.
I think this is because this is a subject we don’t even realize exists. We are so busy putting our lives in order, exercising and eating right, making sure we have time for our daily devotion, reading to keep mentally fit (you are reading, right?), but we seldom if ever slow down to take stock of where we are at emotionally.
Why is that? After all, we feel everyday. Perhaps it is because of busyness. Or perhaps it is because we have no idea how integrated feelings are in our lives. Perhaps it is because we subconsciously see emotions as a pediment to a stronger Christian walk. After all, mature Christians don’t get angry, depressed, or lonely. That’s too close to sin, right?
We ignore the stirrings inside our hearts. We do not face them. We do not acknowledge them. And in doing so, we are not being truthful with ourselves and with God. God knows how we are feeling. He’s even been there. Jesus was fully human. He wept (look at how he reacted when Lazarus died), he was angry (yep, remember when he cleansed out the temple?), he felt anguish (in the Garden of Gethsemane). Yet I think we think of Jesus being more God than man. A stoic teacher above such base feelings.
Feelings are not a bad thing. After all, God did not make a mistake when he made humans and put feelings inside of them. It’s what we do with them. But we can’t do anything with them if we don’t even acknowledge our feelings in the first place. And many times we are too busy, too scared, or too uncomfortable to take a deeper look at what’s going on inside of us.
Next week I will share the book that prompted such thoughts. So stay tuned!