August 23: “God and Emotions”

5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

(If you want to listen to an audio version of today’s blog post, simply go to https://anchor.fm/mattellis1997, or search for “Reflections on Truth” by Matt Ellis wherever you download your favorite podcasts.)

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 15
Romans 13
Jeremiah 52
Psalms 31

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Samuel 15:10–11 (CSB): “Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, ‘I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following me and has not carried out my instructions.’ So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

For the longest time, it seems that our culture has marginalized emotions. It also appears that much of Christianity joined in on this view. We thought that emotions were the spice of life but they weren’t really necessary or too important.

We have since learned differently. We realize that our emotional intelligence (EQ) is just as important as our intellectual intelligence (IQ). We have even come to realize that our emotional brain is much quicker, more intuitive, and can lead us to make better decisions than if we simply relied upon our conscious thoughts.

Just one instance is when someone is thinking about making a big purchase but “something in their gut” just didn’t feel right. So, they didn’t make the purchase. In many instances, they learned later why it was the right decision not to make that purchase.

Anyway, with the renewed importance that we have come to place on emotions, we may still find it difficult to believe that God has emotions. We may be tempted to think that He is nothing but infinite knowledge and wisdom without emotions.

And that would be a flawed view of God. Simply put, we are emotional because the God who made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27) is emotional.

Psalm 103:13 (CSB): “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”

Isaiah 63:10 (CSB): “But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them.”

Jeremiah 32:41 (CSB): “I will take delight in them to do what is good for them, and with all my heart and mind I will faithfully plant them in this land.”

Ezekiel 5:13 (CSB): “When my anger is spent and I have vented my wrath on them, I will be appeased. Then after I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy.”

How can we benefit from knowing that our God has and experiences emotions?

Well, among other things, it lets us that know that when God says He loves us, He really does feel that love for us. When the Bible tells us that God gets angry at sin, He really feels incensed at sin. When the Bible tells us that God regretted that He made Saul king, it means that God really felt remorse.

Now, one more thing. While God experiences emotions, He does not feel them exactly like we feel them.

We feel love but it is nowhere near as deep as God’s love. We feel anger, and sometimes get out of control, while God’s anger is completely controlled. We feel regret when we realize we made a bad decision but God feels regret in a way that does not allow for any decision He made to be bad.

So, does God experience emotions? Yes!

But, does God feel them exactly like we do? Nope!

As you read through your Bible, look for all of those instances where it ascribes emotions to God. Work to get a much more accurate view of who the God is that You serve.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I know from reading the Gospels that You, as God in the flesh, demonstrated genuine compassion, anger, sorrow, anxiety, and so much more. Help me to get to know You more as I read through my Bible. Further, help me to see my emotions as just one of the many evidences that You made me in Your image. Amen.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s