Christmas is definitely a time of year when our emotions are noticeable.
Perhaps we struggle through, hurting from the loss of loved ones who are not here to share the holiday with us.
Perhaps we are caught up in the hustle and bustle, beaming with excitment.
Perhpas worship is something we really look forward to at Christmas time, and our desires to experience God are stoked.
Maybe it's a mixture of more than one or all of these. For today's post, I want to focus on emotion in worship being a good thing.
Certainly cautions involving emotion are necessary. If expressing emotion is the goal, we have the wrong view of God and gatherings. If we judge a service based on how we feel, we again have the wrong view of God and gatherings.
But often, emotion is good. Here are a couple key thoughts:
1. Emotion can influence action.
The Bible says that God's kindness leads us to repentance. We feel earthly sorrow when we're caught in our sin. But godly sorrow causes real change. This is good example of allowing our emotion to bring about change through repentance.
Expressing our praise can also lead to change. If we leave a gathering thrilled, then great! Let that emotion lead to a greater sustained drive to follow Christ by worhsiping Him each day of your life.
2. Emotion can bring about empathy for others.
Hearing a challenging story, testimony, or illustration can give us a view into someone else's experience while tugging at our heart strings. If that's the case it can really help us understand other people's lot in life that may be different than our own.
3. Expressing emotion in healthy ways can protect us.
When in a worship gathering we express (mainly through telling God) hurt, anger, frustration, joy, excitement, etc. it can protect us from showing these emotions in unbalanced or ungodly ways in our lives. Negative emotions can be dealt with in a worship service through prayer and giving God praise. This can bring us growth as we learn to trust God in all circumstances. Positive emotions can be expressed in unity so as not to always bring attention to ourselves.
We hope you are prepared each and every Sunday to encounter God. We pray that we will seek honesty and health in the way our emotions are affected by the worship of God.