Emotions Used for Good or Evil

Gary Wilkerson

We were created to be emotional beings. We weren't created with just a brain. We were made to have fully rounded emotions. Everything we have that is created by God is, or rather was, inherently good. So our emotions were put into us by God, but they have been corrupted in some ways by the fall.

Part of the challenge is figuring out when our feelings are sinful and when they aren’t. It’s tempting with some feelings to say, “Oh, all of this type of emotion is bad.” One example would be jealousy. We look at that and think, “Don't ever be jealous”, but God is jealous. God told the people of Israel, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6, ESV).

You know, if a man is not in some ways jealous over his wife, that’s a problem. If she's spending too much time with another man and they're starting to connect in ways that is improper, the husband should be jealous. He should go in and correct that unrighteous situation. So our emotions can come from a godly place, but they can be infected by sin or used by the enemy.

There is a proper time for our emotions. We’re told that there’s “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). The Bible also teaches us how to how to process our feelings when it says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

How do I enter God’s courts with praise, holiness and honesty in my emotions? We should ask the Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom so our emotions glorify God.