“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3
It’s been said that “emotions are great followers, but lousy leaders.” Emotions play a pivotal role in how we handle certain experiences. For example, we can’t control the way we feel when we receive surprising news, whether good or bad. However, we can control what we do with those emotions.
Allowing our emotions to dictate how we respond to certain situations can often lead us into sin. In fact, some emotions in and of themselves are sinful since they demonstrate a lack of trust in God. If the church allows the following 4 emotions to take hold, it just may be crippled.
The famous preacher Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
But it’s not just about fearing man. When the church is afraid of making a decision rather than trusting the guidance of the Spirit, the church can’t be used by God to accomplish His will.
Merriam-Webster defines the word apathy as a “lack of feeling, emotion, interest or concern.” When the church approaches sin and the lack of obedience to God’s Word with indifference, it will slowly wither away.
When Peter healed the lame beggar in Acts 3:7-8, the man celebrated by “enter[ing] the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”
He wasn’t apathetic about the power of God. He was excited and unashamed. Likewise, the presence of sin should overwhelmingly sadden us and push us toward repentance.
It’s safe to say that no one dislikes receiving a compliment. It makes us feel good when someone is pleased with our work and appreciates a certain skill we may possess.
However, flattery takes it one step further. Flattery tends to have ulterior motives, and those seeking it will behave uncharacteristically.
Seeking flattery or approval from others will leave the church discontent, always longing for something more. The church needs to recognize that Jesus didn’t need the praise of man and neither does the church.
The church has a mission: to make disciples of all nations. Like all missions, this one takes effort and diligence coupled with tenacity. Becoming comfortable with the status quo in the church will quickly eliminate any presence of intentional discipleship.
When the church focuses on catering to particular needs to maintain a certain level of comfort within its walls rather than reaching the lost, the mission fails.
Today’s Bible quote comes from the prophet Isaiah, in which he encourages Christians to trust in the Lord in order to preserve His perfect peace. When the church learns to focus on God and trust Him with its mission, the crippling emotions above will lose their grip.