This is Part 2 of a bible study on Learning to Feel Again. Check out Part 1 if you missed it!
Learning to Feel Again
Turning on our emotions after they have been turned off requires three things:
- Softening the hardness
- Understanding the purpose
- Building spiritual relationships
Softening the Hardness
What are some signs you need to soften your hard heart?
- People around you feel like they are walking on eggshells – they don’t know when they might set you off
- When someone asks “How are you feeling?” you don’t have an answer
- You get irritated with other people who have a lot of emotion – means it’s time to deal with your own!
- You feel “bored” with God and Christianity. Usually a lot of emotions hide under “bored.”
- You are stressed out and anxious all the time. The worst thing we can do for our health is hide our emotions.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Only the Bible can penetrate our emotional shields. When we don’t want to read the Bible, it’s because we don’t want to deal with how we feel. We need to tell God what is going on with us, when we are mad, or when we feel life is unfair or frustrating.
Do you ever feel confused about what you feel? You know you feel a lot but you’re not sure what? Start reading the Bible to help you figure it out. It can also help you figure out what other people may be feeling, like your teenagers, your spouse or your roommates.
Understanding the Purpose
For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in the province of Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life itself.
9 Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the very sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (AMP)
Everything we feel is a way for God to soften our hearts, and to learn to care. Do you suffer and not know why? Do you have chronic illness or emotional pain you’ve gone through?
When we go through pain, God always will use it for the good. Intense emotions are not all bad; they can teach us to trust and depend on God, and have a deeper relationship with him. When we believe emotions are productive, we will feel them and express them to God instead of becoming numb.
Building Spiritual Relationships
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
The purpose of spiritual relationships is to talk about real stuff. Too often we think spiritual relationship are ones where we share religious-sounding insights that we never intend to practice. Spiritual relationships are relationships where we talk about sin, for example, because sin is simply something that numbs the pain in our lives. Sin assists us in turning emotions off. In order to have a soft heart before God we need to have relationships that help us identify, admit, and let go of sin in our lives.
Today, take a chance if you see a friend looking worried. Out of concern, and in love, say something like, “Maybe I’m a little off, but you seem a bit different today… Is anything going on?” Ask because you care, and ask with an intention to listen and point your friend to God.
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