Friday, April 14, 2017

Are Some Emotions and Feelings Evil?

Many of us grew up being taught that certain emotions and feelings are wrong. They're sinful. We're taught that anger is a sin. We're taught that depression is a sin. We're taught that wanting things is a sin. We're taught that sexual desire is a sin.

This teaching can create some really insecure and withdrawn adults. It causes us to hold in our feelings and emotions, trying to ignore them. It makes us feel constantly ashamed because we cannot get rid of those feelings. It sometimes causes people to finally give up attempting to control them, and instead makes them turn those emotions and feelings into sinful acts.

Don't get me wrong, these things can quite easily become sinful if we let them. If we get angry about something that has happened, it can turn into anger towards a person or group of people, and can lead to us thinking harmful thoughts towards that person. Depression can lead to self-pity, selfishness, lack of caring for self, others, or God. Wanting things can lead to us actually wanting something someone else possesses, and perhaps even to theft of that possession. Sexual desire can lead towards lust towards someone other than our spouse, and possibly to sex with that person.

But the underlying emotions and feelings are not in and of themselves sinful.

Today's Lenten sacrifice:

Stop believing certain emotions are sinful.

God created these feelings within us. God created us to have emotions, and to have biological needs. We cannot stop these things from existing, and we shouldn't. To see any of these as evil on their own is to say that God screwed up. To try to stop these things from existing is to put our own idea of perfection above what God has already said is good.

However, God also gave us the ability to make choices. This is when these emotions become sinful, or not. What do we do with the emotions we feel? Do we turn to God and ask for help in handling them in a good way? Or do we rely on ourselves, and often times wind up turning them into sin?

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