Emotions in the Balance

Dave Gifford

READ : Luke 7:36-50

Many people wrongly let their emotions control their lives. But many Christians seek safety in the opposite extreme. They suppress a crucial, natural part of our God-given makeup.

As a new Christian I once saw an illustration of the Christian life as a train. Faith was the engine. Feelings tagged along as the caboose. The illustration implied that emotions are not to be trusted. Anger is harsh; we must be cool and reasonable. Happiness is for partying types; we must be holy. Sadness and fear are for weak people; we must be strong. I attended many solemn, emotionless worship services that supported this premise.

Our reading suggests that Christians should be more, not less emotional, than unbelievers. Are your emotions out of control, over-controlled, or under the Lord’s control?

Religious Affections

by Jonathan Edwards showed me the pervasiveness and importance of emotions in the Bible. The Lord Jesus expresses many deep emotions. Christians are told repeatedly to rejoice, fear, mourn, be angry, feel compassion, love good and hate evil! Edwards concluded that without emotion faith is not genuine.


Where my heart is hard, Lord, replace it with a heart of flesh. Give me a wholesome balance of faith, facts and feelings. Amen.