Anger, Rage, Bitterness, Jealousy, Happiness, Excitement, Anticipation, Sadness, Depression, Love, Lust, Disgust, Hopelessness, Anxiety, Annoyance, Seriousness, Silliness, Sympathy, Empathy, Courage, Cowardice, and many, many more. These are your emotions at some point in time. Some stay longer, some are felt stronger, some are more common, and some switch at the drop of hat in your life.
These different emotions have different connotations, and are considered “acceptable” in different situations. Anger at your wife to the point of beating her is considered wrong in modern, civilized culture. Anger at the man who has attacked your wife is considered justified. Jealousy over your sibling getting two scoops of ice cream as opposed to your one is considered childish. Jealousy over the man who has his life together while you are scrambling is considered normal. Happiness at the death of a child is considered deranged. Happiness over the birth of a child is considered the natural response. Every emotion, regardless of good or bad connotation, has its place and is acceptable and unacceptable in a variety of situations.
These emotions can change at the drop of a hat as well. Maybe you are angry over a slight from a coworker, you come home, your wife greets you with a kiss, and suddenly everything is great, you’re happy. Or maybe your annoyed with the in-laws (again) but then your kids come home from school all excited about their day and suddenly your excited about their day too. Or you are anxious about what might happen with such and such a job proposal, you get the phone call, you got the job, and you are suddenly content and relieved. These emotions are based on your circumstances, completely subjected to what happens to you.
We are all told to follow our hearts, to follow these impulses and emotions because it is what we feel. Then you end up pregnant because that boy made you feel soooooooooo good. Then you end up with a needle in your arm because that drug made you feel sooooooooo good. Then you end up screaming at your children (for things they had not caused) because you feel so angry at the world and you need to let loose. Then you end up killing a neighbor, a fellow man, because the anger you held on to has changed to bitterness and hatred because holding onto that anger made you feel sooooooo good.
All of the sudden, you look around after following your emotions, and you see a life without fulfillment, without purpose, hopping from significant other to significant other, or drug to drug, friend to friend, college to college, home to home, job to job because none of the “old” stuff is making you feel good anymore. You search for what will give that lasting happiness, that permanent joy, but you search using the most subjective things you have: your emotions. The things that change fastest, most frequently, and most violently are used to find something permanent, sturdy, and trustworthy.
Do you see the problem? You are looking to the one thing (emotion) that is completely opposed to what we all search for (peace). Maybe they can give you peace for a time, but just wait until circumstances change, or that person returns, or that problem resurfaces, and there goes your “peace”.
I’m going to show my hand now. I’m a Christian. I go to a conservative, Christian college. If you are still reading after those last two sentences, thank you, and let me tell you that you can find that peace – a permanent, constant, never weakening, ever present peace that overpowers any circumstance that can come into your life. That peace lies in the belief that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave.
Your sins (lying, cheating, violence, swearing, pride, lust, etc.) have severed your relationship with the Holy God. God loves you, and does not want you to be separated from Him, but He knows you can do nothing to save yourself. So, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come to the earth, live a perfect life as a man, and pay the price for your sins, my sins, everyone sins past, present and future by dying on a cross. He died, was buried, and three days later rose from the dead in order to give us victory over death and the hope that we will be with Him forever after physical death and that nothing we do after putting our faith and trust in Him can ever separate us from God again. That is the peace to which I’m referring. The peace you can have with God and the restored relationship you can have with Him through Jesus Christ.
What I’ve written above is truth. It is the only thing that will ever give you peace. It is the only thing that will guarantee eternal life with God after death in a perfect, restored relationship and body.
It is your choice however, because I can’t force this on you. You can be ruled by your emotions, which change constantly and lead you down the wrong path more often than not. Or, you can be ruled by Christ, who never changes and will lead you down the right path every time.
Your choice: Jesus Christ, the refreshing Spring of Life, or your emotions, a deadly, noxious brew.