Feelings (13 Mar 2016)

When we read through the Psalm, we find almost all kinds of emotions being expressed through the various psalmists – cries of loneliness, deep anguish and discouragement from illness or betrayal. There are also deep expression of joy and thanksgiving found in the Psalm, fear and anxiety, and shouts of joy from relief given to the psalmist by the Lord. Jesus Himself also showed emotion, when He was deeply moved and troubled by the tears of Lazarus’ friends and family (John 11:33-36) and Jesus Himself also wept for Lazarus, and in Luke 19:41, Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, whose people refused to repent and submit their lives to their Lord.

God clearly allows us to express our emotions and feelings, as did Jesus Himself when He was on earth. Do we then, allow ourselves to show our emotions and feelings?

Perhaps it is our era of a fast-paced lifestyle that causes us to be too busy to take time to reflect on how we are feeling, or too busy to go further than taking people and ourselves at surface value. Or it could be due to our Asian culture that focuses a lot on face matters, thus causing us to want to put up a good front and show others that everything is okay in our personal lives and in our family.

Sometimes, we are fearful to express what we really feel because it causes us to be vulnerable before others. Other times, we fear how others may respond to what we are truly feeling. So we choose to hide them, but these will ultimately show up in other areas of our lives. We may, for example, direct our anger at our children when we are actually hurt by our husband’s neglect at home, or indulge in excessive partying and alcohol to deal with suppressed loneliness inside. It may seem scary at first, but when we choose to be real, we allow truth to reign in ourselves and others. When we acknowledge our feelings like sadness and loneliness, we allow God and His Word to heal us where it hurts. When we are bold enough to be real with others, it allows others to be comfortable to be themselves as well.

Imagine a community of people who are true to who they are. People who are able to share their real burdens and hurts, joys and successes with each other, people who are willing to accept each other as who they are and journey and pray alongside one another. People who will not judge, but gently point each other to Christ.

This really sounds like what a church should look like. Will we be willing to work towards being a real and living body of Christ? 

Cherlyn Oh