This week I have reached the emotional wreck stage, subsequent to my dad’s death. I have to admit it isn’t grieving for my dad that is the main issue but the other stuff that has been lurking there beneath the surface for some time, not causing enough trouble so that I have to deal with it. That is until now.
And so this morning it all came out, the hurt, the pain, the feelings of rejection, the anger, the resentment, the bitterness, the jealousy. It was all there. All those nasty, ‘not good, holy Christian’ feelings. Feelings that I had unwittingly suppressed because I believed that ‘good’ Christians don’t behave like this.
I have read a lot about our EQ – Emotional Quotient (Intelligence) and how as Christians we should behave and deal in healthy ways with our feelings. Which is fine if you are not an intensely emotional person, fighting feelings of anger and lust and resentment. Today I realised that I have suppressed my feelings because they don’t fit in with the ‘general accepted handbook’ of how Christians should express their deep felt emotions. There is a lot of teaching on the Battle of the Mind and how our beliefs affect our emotions and it is all good stuff. But it doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t teach you HOW to deal with your ‘sinful’ feelings of resentment and malice and bitterness. The Bible is clear that we need to get rid of them (Ephesians 4:31) but it doesn’t say how.
And that is the crunch for many us. It isn’t enough to tell us what we are doing wrong, we also need to know how to make things right. And repeating mantras and Bible verses isn’t enough on its own. It may well be the beginning but it certainly isn’t the whole answer.
And it hurts. It hurts because I want to be rid of my negative, destructive feelings. I want to forgive those who have hurt me, not only in my head but also in my heart. But I don’t know how. And at the moment I feel that I would give anything to have the answer to this quandry.