Is it okay for born-again Christians to feel bad, really bad?
Is it okay for born-again Christians to be angry?
Do you have a place in your theology for a Christian to be sad or angry or afraid or any other negative emotions?
Are these things that we need to simply repent of?
Or can they be good and right and righteous?
Let’s say, you have a friend. You’ve invested time with her and you know very well this person is very sensitive and you did something you really believe was for her good has just set her off. She’s now accusing you of some unpleasant things, and from your perspective, very false and the relationship is now strained even after all you’ve done. What emotion will you bring to the table if you are in this situation?
How would you feel if your child has ongoing pain and on very expensive medication and you went for laboratory tests hoping the medication has done its job only for the results to come back and it didn’t make any progress in your child’s body?
What about someone that you’ve trusted, a business partner, turns out they’ve been swindling your customers, and now your business’s reputation has not only come under fire but may be permanently ruined. How would you feel?
What about just feeling down, anxious, or feeling depressed? The weight of your tests and trials just piled up in front of you and your heart is heavy. How would you respond to any of those things? A better question is not how will you respond, but what would a good, godly, Christ-honoring Christian respond?
We have verses in the scriptures that say, “Be anxious for nothing.” “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires.” If God is in control, then why on Earth would any Christian or at least any deeply faithful Christian ever really be bothered by or upset about anything? This is a valid question.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
I’m going to be sharing something that enriches the scripture and may shake what you believe about emotions. But first, I want to be clear that God’s sovereignty is the greatest hope that we have. It is absolutely vital that we never lose sight of the truth that God is in control, and this is at the heart of all of our hope in life and in death.
Having said that, I want to slow us down because the Bible makes a very strong repeated case that there can be very deep good in our bad emotions. Now, obviously, when we experience dark emotions there is a chance to look at our own hearts and say, “Are there bad things happening in me as a result of this? What is my opportunity to repent and to trust the Lord in ways that I haven’t been?” This is always a fair question to be asking of ourselves.