I’ve been a Christian since I was a young girl, four years old to be exact. For some reason, since I was little I’ve always placed a strong correlated between Christians, kindness, and positivity.
Like I would see a Christian and judge them based on how nice or positive they are. If they aren’t nice or positive I would assume they are just one of those Christians that’s a prophet or has the gift of discernment. C’mon, we’ve all given someone a pass based on that. LOLLL.
If you’ve been a Christian for like 5 minutes you’ve heard a sentence like the following…“She’s a prophet so she’s got righteous anger.” No, she’s just mean. Yep, I said it.
Or I would think maybe they need to spend more time with Jesus or maybe they are under spiritual attack. I’ve even gone as far as to question their salvation based upon those things.
Somewhere in this mix, I began to think if I’m not positive, nice and always feeling GREAT then I am not a good Christian and the same goes for others.
Until recently I’ve never stopped to give any credit to the fact that maybe they are just feeling an emotion and they can’t hide it. Never giving any credit to real, live, human, God-given emotions.
I’m sure this started LONG before this point but specifically about two years ago, I started feeling some pretty strong emotions. Emotions I didn’t like so I stuffed them.
Hid them somewhere in the dark recesses of my heart hoping they wouldn’t rear their ugly head at me ever again.
Before I knew it, I wasn’t feeling the feels so the feels started feeling me.
It all culminated about 6 months ago.
Stress, which led to some anxiety, which lead to me becoming more snarky, opinionated, outspoken, a little jaded, restless, the list goes on and on. But I stuffed, I tried so hard not to let it show but it just oozed out. There was no hiding it.
It was like I had been pushing down one emotion after the other for so many years that one day they became like an explosive volcano and by that point, there was no way to identify exactly which emotion I was feeling or where it even came from.
I didn’t have a magical moment where I realized what the problem was but instead, I slowly began to recognize that this was all happening because I didn’t let myself FEEL THE FEELS at any point. Didn’t create space or give myself any margin.
I just ignored and stuffed which lead to some pretty unhealthy emotions.
This was probably because I thought they were bad, unchristian if I’m being honest. But not all emotions are bad, unhealthy emotions. Actually feeling things doesn’t lead to unhealthy emotions, not allowing yourself to feel leads to unhealthy emotions.
The thing is, Christians are humans too. We feel things, we have emotions, GOD GIVEN emotions actually. The full spectrum.
God created emotions after all. So maybe some Christians¬ are mean because they haven’t allowed themselves (or given themselves permission) to FEEL THINGS. To be human.
And before you know it, little emotions that you avoid or discount turn into bigger problems that you can’t ignore.
Yes, Christians should be Christlike. But not robotlike, not only certain isolated emotions-like, not numb.
I have come to understand that this type of thinking, the type that says, “you have to be totally happy and positive all of the time or you are the worst,” thinking is so unhealthy. This is not the way that God intended for us to live our lives but for some reason so many of us do.
Partnering with this belief is basically saying, “if you are good at faking you will be a model Christian if you are bad at faking you fall short.”
And we wonder why people don’t want to come and follow us. Nahhh fam…I would pass too.
I think that doing this for too long leads to bad things, then it leads to apathy and I think apathy is one of this ages biggest ploys from the enemy.
He doesn’t want us to hate him, he just wants us to be totally unengaged and to not have any feelings one way or the other.
In a gridlock so to speak.
1. lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
You can’t change the world, fully follow Christ or live freely in the spirit if you have a lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm and no concern….
That’s the total opposite of what Christ was like.
Stuffing your feelings for long enough will lead to this, you will become numb and when you feel any sense of pain, instead of letting it happen and feeling it, will begin to self-numb out of protection.
Cell phones, social media, being around people, eating, drinking, drugs even shopping are all forms of self-numbing.
I’ve seen Christians numb for years and one day when they act out in a crazy manner we are all “surprised”. Like they go and sleep with someone who’s not their wife or do drugs or get plastered and we are all shocked.
Why are we all surprised that they just wanted to FEEL something?!?!?!?!
I’d go as far as to say that in a lot of ways, apart from some strong communities, Christians have historically done a SUPER poor job of allowing spaces for people to actually feel things, to actually be human.
If you read the bible, or even if you don’t read the bible or believe in Jesus you have to admit that Jesus was a man of many emotions. He laughed, he cried (which I think that bible verse is in the bible to show us that he had deep emotions), he was angry even, hopeless, distraught.
He felt things (he STILL FEELS THINGS) deeply and then he went to his Father and worked through them.
I think this is the key.
Feel things, but take them to God and let him help you identify and work through them. We can’t do this on our own otherwise we are out in the deep sea swimming by ourselves without a life vest and we will drown.
I still stand firm in believing that Christians SHOULD be nice. We should possess all of the fruits of the Spirit, and kindness is an essential one.
Christianity 101 is the fruits of the spirit, and if you don’t have one you should ask yourself why you don’t have it and then ask God to give it to you.
In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say I’m a firm believer that Christians should be the most awesome human’s people ever come across. I’m still working on this one myself by the way 😉
Here are some other thoughts I have about this subject that might tie up some loose ends…..
- There’s a big difference between sitting in a feeling for a minute and wallowing in a feeling. It’s okay to sit in the hole for a minute to catch your breath and recognize what just happened, but don’t stay there forever. That’s unhealthy.
- Feelings are relative, everyone has them for different reasons but they are all valid. Someone might be feeling something due to a traumatic event in their life but that doesn’t make yours any lesser of a feeling because it didn’t occur from a dramatic incident.
- It’s important to feel feelings but you don’t have to partner with every feeling. Addressing it’s there and figuring out the root problem is absolutely essential though. You can’t ignore it.
- You can’t isolate emotions, if you try not to feel one, you wouldn’t feel any. You will numb.
- The attack of the enemy is REAL. He is trying to steal, kill and destroy us. It’s so important to figure out what feelings are yours and what feelings are an attack. Only you can listen to the Holy Spirit on this one.
Whatever expressing emotions looks like for you, we should all be working towards total health.
For me, this means allowing myself to feel sad some days, to be happy, to EXPERIENCE IT ALL. To be real, honest and vulnerable.
With this practice, I’ve begun to feel myself becoming more fully alive with every day.
It’s a journey, it’s a process but I’m waking up and literally feeling it all every day.
You should try it sometimes.