gospel, promise

In Defense of Emotion

To argue and defend a point, it is understood that one must follow a certain set of rules. Logical reasoning, respectful debate, ethical integrity, and a nod to the emotional aspect. However, in an actual conversation with learned friends the emotional argument is the annoying nagging wench to be politely ignored. She gets a little too worked up sometimes, and we are often suspicious that she is throwing us off our focused path to the truth.

We are safe and comfortable in our logical world. Clear cut distinctions and nicely laid out encyclopedias can guide our talks together. A+B=C and no ad hominin, please. Happy and sad, anger and compassion have no place in the realm of truth. When emotions arise, beware! The subjective expressions threaten the objective world.

“I can’t trust my emotions, they lie to me,” said my wise and reflective friend. It was a cloudy afternoon as we sat together, one on one, discussing a sensitive topic. Tears rolled down her cheek as she continued to explore the depths of her discomfort. She observed that her emotions and the truth of the situation were not the same thing. However, she thought her feelings were in the way of discovering the truth, yet I saw her searching passionately for truth because of her overwhelming emotion.

Why are we so distrustful of emotion? Surely it can distract from the truth, but can it not also drive us passionately forward, as well? Logic and reason can also send us chasing after false dreams, if we are not attentive to  

Our God is a Creator with emotion. He made the earth and the creatures in it, and God was pleased. He said it was very good. Yet a short time later, after His creations mistrust and kill, God is regretful. He is saddened because of the wickedness festering in the hearts of men. All of the logic points to destruction. They failed, they disobeyed, they are dead. But our Creator is a God with emotion. He is torn from his logical conclusion by compassion for his man, Noah.

God saves Noah and his family. Against the good and dependable logic of punishment, there is a breath of illogical compassion. God’s acts of mercy confound the “wise”. His son’s unimportant birth goes against every well-researched success story. His disgraceful death doesn’t make any sense. It’s all an unusual irrational mess. Until he looks into your tear stained eyes and says, “I choose you”.

Our God is a redeemer with emotion. And as long as we live with emotional creatures, our friends, our family, our neighbors, our enemies, our lives do not always neatly follow the patterns of the black and white.  People we love, we hate, we talk to, we ignore, we all live somewhere in the grey.  Pain, happiness, judgment and mercy.

We are not saved by the logic of our God, rather we are reconciled by the reckless mercy of his compassion.

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