The Emotional God

Have you ever been called an “emotional” person? I have been. It always gives me pause when someone says that, because I have to think, “so, what? You don’t have emotions? Okay, super-human, un-feeling, freak-oid!” Of course, I would never say those things, but really? There are people who are not emotional? Come on! What they mean to say, I think, and are trying desperately to avoid saying so they won’t offend me, is that they are uncomfortable with my emotions, or they think I am governed somehow by these emotions.

Hey folks, if there’s one thing I’m not–it’s governed by my emotions. I feel enormous feelings, I won’t deny that. And I know that some of you secretly roll your eyes at my enormous attachment to my feelings. But I think it’s silly to be otherwise. Why would God give us emotions unless they were meant to be felt? And how often has our society taught us to ignore our emotions, just “suck it up” and not deal with what is right there in our own hearts?

And ironically, I think we serve a God who is emotional, as well. Last year, when I read Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy, one idea I kept stumbling back upon was the reality that God is not any one thing. Everything that God is, is God. So when we deny that God is one way or another, it doesn’t just mean we are “mistaken,” it means we have an altered view of who He is. And not only that, but it skews our understanding of His other attributes. Consider God’s mercy. If God were not also a just God, then His mercy would mean nothing.

So do we paint an untrue image of God by acting as if He is entirely rational and unemotional towards us? If anything, God is a wild man. It’s what Rich Mullins called, “the reckless, raging fury.” The love of God. What kind of rational, unemotional being would commit the sacrifice for us that Christ has? None! It cannot be! It is because of His passion, His emotion, and His deep love for us that He paid that price.

So we could be brought back to Him. So we could know Him. So we could be His people and He could be our God.

Scripture describes Him as rejoicing over us with singing. Christ drove out the money changers from the temple. His anger burned against Moses. Christ sweat drops of blood. Jesus wept for Jerusalem. What are these if not emotional?

I am emotional today. And I thank God for it. My Mom’s Compassion child is from El Salvador, where hurricane Ida has left so many without basic things that we take for granted–clean water, electricity, hope. Shaun Groves shares an excellent blog–with some gut-wrenching images–about this. Please go and read it HERE. If your heart doesn’t lurch at the thought of such despair and need, then you might need to check your pulse. If you are able to help in any way at all, please consider doing so. We are having incredibly difficult times here in America, but sometimes I think we forget what Dash stated so well as a comment on my Veteran’s Day entry:

The worst of America often far outstrips the best of other nations in the world. I have had the privilege of traveling the world, and the honor of doing so in service to this nation. There is a reason why others in the world are willing to risk life, career and loss of family to come here.

God, grant us hearts that overflow with emotion for You and for Your Children all around the world. Teach us the gift of generosity, and the outrageous and glorious blessing of blessing others. Make us more like You. Bend our minds ever to recall Your faithfulness toward us, even when we are faithless. Fill our hearts with thankfulness for all You’ve done, even in our hours of struggling.

Pax Christi, all of you emotional people.


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