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Emotion and Discipleship

December 03, 2021
By Joel Gutowsky

The role that emotion plays in discipleship. Man, where to start. 

We are emotional people. Whether it is our reaction to a beautiful piece of music, a beautiful landscape or the Astros losing in the World Series, our emotions are tied to everything and the ties run deep.

All throughout scripture we see the emotions of the biblical characters- Jesus’ anger in the temple, His sweating of blood, David dancing in the streets with the return of the ark, Sarah laughing. It’s everywhere and yet somehow we neglect dealing with emotions when it comes to our sanctification.

We are called to be more like Jesus. Right? I hope we would all agree with this. In this process it seems we are more concerned about our outward actions. We need to love more, just like Jesus. Serve more, just like Jesus. Be more kind, you know, like Jesus. All of these things are true, but we often leave it there and allow the emotions that stay on the inside to be the things that are not like Christ. In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us that if we have anger toward a brother or sister we are just as guilty as one who commits murder. Most of the time, anger is an inward emotion. The same thing with lust. Most of the time it is an inward emotion that, according to Jesus, makes us as guilty as someone who commits adultery.

It would seem that Jesus is very concerned about our inward emotions, just like He is concerned about our outward emotions.

So, how does this relate to discipleship? We have to talk about emotions. We have to work through the deep roots that cause us to react and feel the way we do. We have to be willing to look deep within ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to point out the areas that are not like Christ and then, probably the most important, when those areas are pointed out, we have to listen and allow the Holy Spirit to change us. During this Christmas season, when our hearts and minds are naturally more focused on Jesus and the reason He came, we have the perfect opportunity to start this inward reflection.

May we, together, strive toward Christ-likeness throughout the wholeness of our being during the Christmas season. May our lives, both inward and outward, reflect the heart of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Joel Gutowsky
Director of Student Life
Logos Preparatory Academy

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