Tuesday, May 25, 2010

loving God with our emotions

as i prepare my sermon for this coming sunday, i am wondering what you might think about the role of the emotions in loving God, and in particular in our worship.  i have grown mostly being taught that you can't trust your emotions, that happiness is a red herring and we really ought to be looking for joy (which is no emotion at all, it seems).  as i have gotten older i have learned to be more at peace with my emotions at least in terms in recognizing them as a good an important part of who i am.  still, i'm wondering what your thoughts are on this issue: do our emotions have a place in worship?  if we come to church feeling angry or sad or confused or happy or ____________, does it hurt or enhance our worship experience?  is there a right or good way to somehow use that emotion in worship? or are we better served, in your opinion, if we sort of check our emotions at the door and worship the unchanging God who is great beyond the whim of our emotions? i have my own ideas here, but i'm interested in your thoughts about the role of emotions in our worship life.  hit me up with some thoughts, people! 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that the best person to go to when your emotions get the best of you is God. He's always there to listen and not judge. As for worship, if you don't bring your emotions, how will the message truly get through? If we check our emotions at the door, how is it possible to feel the presence of the Holy spirit. To me, that is an emotional feeling. And without our emotions, how will we take the message to heart, which i believe is the key to truly put God's word to use in daily life.

Anonymous said...

emotions are a strange part of us that are def. linked into our faith journey... I can't see leaving them behind in worship (or anything for that matter)... Heck, God created emotions, so there is def. a purpose for them right?

BC i know your a music fan, I think Kurt Cobain had it write "Come as you are"... I think God wants us to show up regardless of what we bring to the table... I've had some of the most refreshing times of worship when the last thing I wanted to do was to be with God...

Greg C. said...

Um, I second that...emotion.
I think we should definitely bring our emotions to worship with us but I think the key is to be open to God and how He might use our emotions at that place, in that time. I think we have to be ready to give 'em up or pass 'em along.

cathyq said...

Having come from a tradition in which emotion was a necessary (even required) part of worship, I am leary of too much emotion being incorporated. My knee jerk reaction is to err on the side of less is more in formal worship situations; however, private worship is a whole other matter. I wonder if it is okay to make that distinction?

greg. said...

thanks for all the the comments and thoughts! i really appreciate it! you all have some really interesting ideas and i will continue to think about them as i'm preparing for my message this sunday. you guys are the best!

Eric said...

When I lead worship at church here (non-denominational, contemporary church) I think less about emotions and more about trying to share in the presence of God. Every persons´ emotions obviously impact their journey into that place, and I think that transition and finally focusing on God´s presence definitely also brings about emotions in us. It is an emotional feeling.

One struggle that I sometimes have and that I´ve seen in various churches is HOW to express those emotions. Instead of doing ¨what looks right¨ or ¨what everyone else is doing,¨ how can we explore and express our own emotions in a natural way? Or maybe, how can we (as each individual) give all of those feelings and emotions to God as part of our worship?

One question I ask myself a lot of times is if I am being authentic. And I cannot judge that for anyone else- but how can we be true to those emotions, express those emotions, in whichever way-- and not feel ¨peer pressure¨ going on around us?