Emotions are not wrong or sinful

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I struggle with emotional instability though I have no clear diagnosis but my own. Is being overly emotional a sin, and if not, what can a person do to tone down the emotional highs and lows? – E.I.

Dear E.I.: God wove various personality traits into His created beings. Emotions in themselves are not wrong or sinful. Often the differences complement one another. Some are quiet while others are talkative. Some are quick to respond while others are slow to action.
We shouldn’t despise or deny these differences. If we didn’t experience emotions, we couldn’t know God’s peace and joy. No two people are exactly alike. Our Creator is unique and everything He does is also unique. As a result, there are varieties of personalities and we can learn from one another. But most important, we can learn from the Bible as we study and pray, asking the Lord to develop in us the fruits of the Spirit.
Perhaps it surprises many to realize that God experiences emotion, and we are all created in His image. This is a staggering thought but true. How empty life would be without emotions!
The psalmist declared, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). This does not refer only to the human body but everything about us – our minds and emotions. Each person is complex and while we may have challenges in understanding one another, God perfectly understands everything about us.
We must admit, though, that our emotions can become twisted and even destructive, leading us to do or say things that are harmful to others and ourselves. We must rely on Christ to fill our minds with the things that please Him and bring glory to Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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