"Boys don't cry."
"Women are emotional."
"Don't be a sissy!"
"The church is only for sissies."
You have probably heard these statements before. They give the impression that emotionality has something to do with weakness. It is said that one has to be strong and strict in order to progress and succeed in life. As a man, you have to pretend that you have no feelings. As a woman who wants to be successful in the business world, you have to be hard, cool and emotional. Emotional women have no place in the executive suite. Is it really like that? Should we be emotional or not? Are we more normal when we show less emotions? How did God create us? Has he created us as sentimental, emotional beings or not? Some say that men are less emotional and that's why God created humans as less emotional creatures. This thought led to many stereotypes about men and women. Society claims that men are less emotional and women in turn are too emotional.
Humans were created in the image of God. But what kind of picture is that actually? Paul said about Jesus: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn before all creation" (Colossians 1,15). In order to understand who we are in the image of God, we have to look at Jesus because he is the true image of God. Our true identity, Satan, the deceiver, wanted to deceive us about our true identity from the very beginning. I think the emotional world is also part of our identity and Satan wants to deceive us about our feelings. He tries to make us believe that it is weak and stupid to perceive feelings and to give them room. Paul said about Satan that he had blinded the minds of the unbelievers that they would not see the bright light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, which is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4,4).
The truth is: God is emotional! People are emotional! Men are emotional! A recent study by a psychological institute (Mindlab) found that men are more emotional than women. One measured the emotional reactions of men and women on a psychological level. It was shown that more emotions were measured in men than in women, but the test subjects felt them less. Women showed fewer emotions when measuring, but felt them more than the male subjects.
Humans are emotional beings. To be emotional means to be human. And vice versa: To be insensitive means to be inhumane. If you have no emotions and feelings, then you are not a real person. When a child is raped, it is inhumane to feel nothing about it. Unfortunately, we are geared towards suppressing our feelings as if they were bad, and many Christians are rubbing themselves against the thought of an angry Jesus. He is too emotional for them. They don't know what to think of a Jesus who acts like this: "And he made a scourge out of ropes and drove them all out of the temple together with the sheep and cattle and poured out the money to the changers and knocked over the tables" (John 2,15). They also don't know what to think about a Jesus crying and sobbing for a dead friend. But John 11,35 reports exactly this. Jesus cried more than we realize. Lukas also tells of this: «And when he got close, he saw the city and wept over it» (Luke 19,41). The Greek word for crying means to sob loudly here. I am glad that Jesus was angry and expressed his feelings - even if he was crying. I prefer to serve an emotional God rather than an insensitive one. The God who is revealed in the Bible is a God of anger, jealousy, sadness, joy, love and compassion. If God had no feelings, He would not care whether we go into the eternal fire or not. Precisely because he has such deep feelings for us, he sent his own son to this world so that he would die once and for all for all. Thank God he's emotional. People are emotional because they are the image of an emotional god.
Emotions for the right things
Allow yourself to be emotional. It is human, even divine, to be like that. Do not allow the devil to make you inhuman. Pray that Heavenly Father will help you to feel emotions for the right things. Do not be angry about high food prices. Be angry about murder, rape and child abuse. TV and computer games can kill our feelings. It's easy to get to a point where we do not feel anything, even to Christians who are being killed for their beliefs. For sexual immorality that we see on TV and in the cinema, for children orphaned by HIV and Ebola.
One of the biggest problems with sin is the corruption of our emotions. We do not know what it feels like to be. Pray that through the Holy Spirit, the Father will heal your emotional life and change your emotions to those of Jesus. So that you can cry for things that Jesus cried for, that are angry at those on whom Jesus was angry and passionate about things for which Jesus was passionately committed.
by Takalani Musekwa