What are emotions for?

One side of our culture would say that emotions are an infallible guide to who we’re meant to be and how we’re meant to live. “Follow your heart!” is the mantra: chase after what makes you feel better, avoid what makes you feel worse.

The other side - and many churches have fallen on this side - would say that emotions are at best a weakness and at worst a hindrance in the Christian life. “Master your heart” is the unspoken mantra: get your head right, suck it up, don’t let your feelings get in the way.

But the biblical picture of emotionality is better and richer than both of those extremes. On the one hand, we’re not meant to be enslaved to our emotions: we are ultimately defined by God’s Word. But on the other hand, God himself engages our world with strong affections - delight, sadness, anger, pain - and the Bible is filled with people who live into a beautiful, fallen world with a full range of emotions.

In “Living from the Heart,” we’ll look at the Psalms to see how God’s people have engaged with God and with the world through loneliness, sorrow, guilt, and more. How powerful emotions led, not to falling away from God, but to experiencing God and the world in the way we’re meant to experience it.

We hope this series will encourage you to own your emotions as they are, listen for what God may be teaching you through them, and walk through them to relate to God and to the world that is honest, personal, redeemed, and redemptive.

The drawings that form this web banner and Worship Guide cover were done by Jingo de la Rosa, and are used with his generous permission!

Series resources

The Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd

Cry of the Soul by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero