Watchman Reflections

Finding Freedom from Emotional Reasoning

Are you awakened to the deeper experience yet? Are your goosebumps protruding? Are you twitter-pated by Jesus? Maybe un-done by the beauty of God’s heart?

Let’s have a chat; friend to friend, sister to fellow saint.

Emotionalism has swept through our churches and distorted the faith walk. As someone who spent years in Cognitive Behavior Therapy to address mental health issues like depression, perfectionism, and self-hatred, I’ve come to a realization: Emotional Reasoning is equally toxic to our faith as it is to our psyche.

More so, I find it shocking that for the already pervasive flourishing of psycho-spiritual dross from pulpits, emotional reasoning still runs rampant in the pews. What is going on?

Let’s start with a definition of emotional reasoning. Quite simply, feelings dictate reality; or, I feel something, therefore it must be true.

Jeremiah 17: 9 reminds us that,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

We cannot base our faith on feelings, on experiences from the heart. Our hearts are sick. Desperately sick. Our hearts need daily cleansing by the Word (Jesus) and from the Word (The Scriptures). They need guarding, which comes by acknowledging and living from Truth.

Emotions wane. They are unstable and often volatile. Emotions are useful tools to determine what’s happening in our hearts, but they have no authority to dictate truth and, therefore, the way forward by faith.

Freedom from emotional reasoning is an essential pursuit to living godly lives in Christ Jesus. So how do we get there?

Here are three simple steps:

1. Feel the Feels

Paul says in Ephesians 4:26, be angry… No one expects you not to feel, in fact, it’s been proven that feeling is healthy; it’s necessary. Certainly, emotions are God-given! So feel the feels! Cry. Laugh. Bubble in excitement. Scream in frustration. But, (to finish off Paul’s sentence) do not sin. Emotions are a starting gate that demand a determined procession forward: in holiness or sinfulness.

2. Find the Truth

In John 8:31-36, Jesus says that we are His disciples if we abide in His word. It’s from this place of abiding that we will know the truth, and, further, are set free. Free from what? Maybe, the deceitfulness of sin? Sin is sneaky. No one runs for the muck to be intentionally stuck! Yet even the snare of emotional reasoning entices our sin-sick hearts. We need the truth to be set free from the lie, and we find the truth by abiding in God’s word.

3. Cling to the Promise

Abiding carries a sense of attachment, wouldn’t you say? When Jesus calls us to abide in Him in order to bear fruit (John 15:5), there’s a holding on being expressed. It’s a choice we all need to make in the good fight of faith. We are steadfast and immovable when clinging to God’s promises. We are rooted and established in our faith and therein gain an overwhelming victory in every circumstance, in and despite the ebb of emotion.

Simple, right! Jesus reminds us in Matthew 11:30 that, indeed, His yoke is easy. This isn’t rocket science; nor is it an ironman feat. Finding freedom from emotional reasoning is grace-filled, founded in faith, and forged in the fires of intentional forsaking of the flesh.

Be blessed as you hold onto Truth!

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