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Filtering Emotions Through God's Word

by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

What stirs your emotions?


Maybe it is the birth of your children. It could be the milestone of watching your child take their first steps. The first day of school.

Maybe even the first day of high school. Weddings, funerals, baby dedications, hellos, goodbyes, surprises, disappointments, and even silly movies or even commercials can all stir up emotions.

Emotions run the gamut from laughter to sadness, tears of mirth, joy and of sadness and loneliness, anger, frustration, peace, quiet joyfulness, wonder and inquisitiveness.

We have all felt a range of emotions in our lives.


My family all know that I am an emotional guy. I get emotional at all of the above. I have felt all of the above as well: when each of my children headed to school for the first time; headed to college for the first time and the many times after that; at each of their weddings. Hopefully I will see grandchildren as well and I know that will be an emotional time for me as well.

Yes, I even have been known to have a leaky face at times in a poignant moment in a good movie or even commercial. And in different situations, I have felt anger and frustration as well as peace and joy.

I also feel emotion well up in me when I see someone give their heart to Jesus and maybe later become baptized. It is a beautiful thing.

Yet I also have fought the notion of emotion when it comes to a person’s walk with God. You see emotion is a fickle thing. It comes and goes.


If we depend on emotion as a barometer of our walk with God we are on very dangerous ground.

Recently I read this quote:

You are not to wait for wonderful emotions before you believe that God has heard you: feeling is not to be your criterion, for emotions are as changeable as the clouds. You must have something solid for the foundation of your faith. The word of the Lord is a word of infinite power, upon which you may rely. . .

Ellen White, SM 328

Emotions are certainly something that should be embraced and acknowledged. At times they also need to be examined to make sure they are not misdirected or misguided in our mind as well.

When it comes to our walk with God there are certainly emotional times that happen in that walk. There are also times when the evil one gets in our head and uses those very God-given emotions to head in the wrong direction. The direction of discouragement and wondering if God truly loves us.

In those times contemplate, one of my favorite passages in I John 5:11-13

And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

So when your emotions run amuck, return to God’s word. Read it and believe it, no matter what your emotions may be telling you. Share God’s word with others so that instead of emotions being in their lives like the changing winds that they can also have something solid in their lives.

We all need this in our unstable world. Depend on God and keep filtering your emotions through the solid word of God.