In The 411 we talk a bit about our Christian Faith and how Jesus modeled expressing emotions in a healthy way. From frustration (Mark 4:35-41) to compassion (Matthew 9:20-22). And from weariness (Mark 6:30-31) to agony (Luke 22:39-46). We see Jesus allowing space to express various emotions and allowing them to lead him to wise and productive decisions.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13-14
The context of the passage above is the death of John the Baptist. When Jesus heard about it he withdrew to a solitary place, quite likely to grieve. However the crowds met him there and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Later after he dismissed the crowd, he sent the Disciples ahead - so that he could be alone. Jesus modeled for us how being connected to all parts of who He was (Intellectually, Spiritually, Physically, Socially and Emotionally ) allowed him to be intentional about taking care of his needs.
In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Pete Scazzero talks about how our emotional health impacts our ability to love ourselves well, to love others well, and to love God well.
"One of our greatest obstacles in knowing God is our own lack of self-knowledge. So we end up wearing a mask -before God, ourselves, and other people. And we can't become self-aware if we cut off our humanity out of fear of our feelings." Pete Scazzero
So here are FIVE ways we can be growing in this area?
Awakening, identifying and interpreting the wide spectrum of emotions that rise within us.
Becoming intimate enough with key emotions, so that we can learn to combine them with compassion.
Including practices that allow introspection so we can identify and dismantle coping strategies and defense mechanisms that could be inhibiting growth.
Communicating our thoughts and feelings with others verbally and non-verbally.
Including The Daily Office or Engaging in other spiritual practices that are a means for God's grace to pour into our lives. Practices like silence, solitude, prayer, worship, Bible study and service.
Reflect on these two questions.
What prevents you from freely expressing your emotions to God?
Does your heart break with the things that break God's heart?