My husband sometimes describes me as a moody person. At times, the tears come quickly or the laughter erupts more readily than others. Sometimes I feel gushy and express my love and appreciation at the smallest things, while other times my tongue is sharp and my patience slim. Pulling the reigns on my emotions requires self-discipline to prevent them from negatively controlling my words and actions.
Since I want to follow the pattern of Jesus, I have to ask, how much were emotions a part of His life? I have never imagined Jesus as an emotional person, yet I know He had emotions. He experienced laughter, tears, compassion, and anger, but He did not sin.
Sinclair Ferguson discusses the true, deep humanity of Jesus in his book In Christ Alone, saying “Jesus’s sinlessness should not be equated with emotionlessness.” In fact, it is quite the other extreme. He cites the example of illness and death of Lazarus when Jesus wept (John 11:35), deeply affected by Satan’s reign in sin and death.
Jesus could see human need with perfect clarity and feel it with ‘unparalleled intensity’ compared to our foggy awareness. “His holy humanity experienced heights and depths of emotion unknown by sinful humanity” (p. 70). When He resurrected Lazarus from the dead with a single command, the ultimate miracle, I wonder what He felt then?
Can you imagine experiencing all the emotions of womanhood without sinning? To experience all the highs and lows without your thoughts going down paths they shouldn’t go? To allow them to drive you to closer in intimacy with God?
Whether I experience the high peaks of joy or the low depths of despair, I want my emotions to be ignited by the Holy Spirit within me. I do not want my emotions to rule me, but sometimes they propel me into action that might otherwise lie dormant. I resolve to cherish all the emotions that come with the gift of womanhood so that God may use them to transform my character.