30 Things I’ve Learned About Emotions
Last month I watched the movie Inside Out with three girls, a bucket of popcorn, a package of Butterfingers, and a box of Nerds.
The movie raised a lot of questions for me about emotions; questions I still don’t have the answers to. But here are thirty things I do know about emotions (in no particular order):
- Our emotions affect our health.
- Surprisingly, letting others “in” when you’re feeling sad seems to forge friendships much faster than if you appear to have everything “together.”
- We have the ability to feel because God feels, and we’re made in His image.
- Your emotions don’t have to control you.
- God acknowledges that there are things that are truly frightening, and then He tells us not to fear them because He is with us (1 Peter 3:6).
- PMS is real, but it’s not an excuse to sin. Prepare for it. Track your cycle so you know what to expect, and pray accordingly.
- Joy isn’t simply an emotion; it’s a fruit of the Spirit of God.
- It’s a beautiful thing when a guy is willing to show emotion from time to time.
- God cries. Jesus wept (John 11:35).
- Tears are not a weakness.
- It is better to cry than to hold it all in.
- It’s okay to be angry . . . if you don’t sin.
- Anger is rarely righteous (James 1:20).
- Examine your emotions often. They’re excellent indicators of what you’re believing, which—if you’re like me—you’ll often need to repent of and replace with truth.
- Let a few trusted friends know when you’re struggling. Ask for prayer. It will help!
- Just because you’re a “feeler” doesn’t mean you can’t also be a “thinker.” Don’t let people pigeon-hole you.
- There is only one reason we can “not be anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6). The answer lies in the last part of verse five. (Thanks for this insight, Paul David Tripp.)
- True joy is found in God’s presence. Therefore, you can be happy anywhere, even in a nursing home! (I’ve never forgotten you telling me this at Applebee’s years ago, Maria Johnson.)
- There’s time to have fun, but it’s also important to be serious (1 Peter 5:8).
- Sadness won’t kill you. It is okay to feel sad. In fact, good can even come from it.
- Once you’ve suffered and been comforted, you’ll be better equipped to encourage others in similar situations (2 Cor. 1:3–5).
- Emotions change nearly as often as the nighttime sky; God’s truth never changes.
- Cutting yourself is not the answer to the inner pain you feel.
- Piano keys are a great, safe way to express your emotions.
- Know yourself well enough to know whether you need to be with people when you’re feeling emotional or whether time alone would help.
- Sugar only makes you feel more crazy.
- It’s wise to keep your mouth shut when you’re feeling especially emotional.
- At the same time, if you’re struggling with your emotions, let those around you know that if they “see” anything on your face, it’s not them; you’re just having a rough day. (Thanks for this, Wes Ward.)
- Those who don’t feel deeply wish they could. Don’t hate your emotions; God can use them for good.
- There is no Comforter like God (2 Cor. 1:3, John 14:16).
What else have you learned over the years about emotions? And what questions do you have about emotions?