Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Emotions Run Away With Us

God is an emotional being. He's created us, in his image, with the capacity for emotions as well. Unfortunately, in our fallen condition, sometimes ours get overwhelming, or run away with us, and the results are often not pretty. Sometimes we become blubbering, incapacitated, tear factories. At other times we become focused, pursuers of ungodly ends. Runaway emotions seldom lead to good decisions, often lead to sin, and so we should endeavor not to let them get away from us as have some notable biblical examples.

Cain had some problems with sibling rivalry, and seems to me to be the first model of the sociopath. He was arrogant in regard to God and willful with respect to his own life. A stinging rejection of what he tried to shove down God's throat, combined with the ringing endorsement of his brother, Abel's offering to God touched off the anger button in Cain's psyche.

There's good reason the Word says don't let the sun go down on our anger. When we live in anger, stew in it, embrace it and make it our companion in life it will lead us to misery. Sin couches at the door looking to get the advantage over us. Anger, like my kids, leaves the door wide open for the undesirable to come in. When angry, we make rash choices and follow courses that don't lead us toward God. It's OK to be angry, it's not OK to sin.

Saul seemed to be an incredibly humble individual when he was young. I don't think it was true humility, but the distortion that arises when we compare ourselves with ourselves. When we do that and our circumstances are humble, we appear meek: when our circumstances change, so does such false humility-- into arrogance and jealousy. That is what happened to Saul.

If Saul had sought the approval that came from God, rather than worrying about the accolades of man, I wouldn't be writing this piece. But Saul was not a man after God's heart; in fact, he cared less about God's rejection than he did about being given second billing in the song of some schoolgirls. God is a jealous god. We, however, don't handle the emotion all that well. Let it run away with us and we end up running away from God, just like Saul.

Stay tuned, more to come...

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