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  • Writer's picturePatrick Norris


Happy New Year!!!

In this chapter of our monthly newsletter, I want to help you start your year off with a new clarity of emotional health, security and exploration.

As I have said in previous issues, emotions are spiritual. God is an emotional being. We were created in God’s likeness and image, including the ability to emote. Emotions are designed by God for creation.

So, where do emotions fit in our Christian faith? Are they friend or foe? Are “positive” emotions only godly, but “negative” only demonic?

Doesn’t the devil inflame emotions to steal, kill and destroy us? And the answer is “yes”. However, there is danger is oversimplifying this to making all emotions fit into one box or the other. Even “negative” emotions are signals of something deeper going on.

I like to analyze processes as they relate to our emotional experiences. Emotions do not exist in a vacuum. Emotions begin with historical memories and the survival/belonging networks surrounding those memories. We can call these energy pockets of griefs, losses and traumas. Out of these energy pockets, in combination with circumstantial threats in the present, come subconscious thoughts. Thoughts (which are neurons firing together in the brain) activate emotions (the release of neurochemicals in the brain). Emotions give energy to our “belief” formation. Beliefs mature to attitudes. Then attitudes turn into our “manner of life.”

Let’s see this in a simpler layout:

· Subconscious energy pockets from past grief memories

· Thoughts

· Emotions

· Beliefs

· Attitudes

· Manner of life

Our watchfulness is to consider even “negative” emotions as gauges to explore down into the false narratives, the lies and arguments that we have allowed to mature. By exploring them we can then confront them with truth. Truth will ultimately reprocess the emotional memories down at the root level. We then aren’t simply fighting a superficial thought. We are identifying the lies that are driving energized unbelief and disrupting those lies with God’s truth. This disrupts the entire system from “grief energy pockets” all the way to “manner of life.”

In this way, even “negative emotions” are a necessary gift for Christians. They are spiritual. They are gauges. They are helpful to bring us to the root issues that have created so many unmanageable moments in our behaviors.

The question remains, “how does the devil use emotions to kill, steal and destroy?”

The devil is primarily a deceiver. Deception is a false perception. Anytime we see God, ourselves or others in a false narrative, we are experiencing deception.

The Apostle Paul spoke of Christians being like a Roman soldier, dressed in full warrior garb. The spiritual armor of Ephesians 6 tells us of the enemy shooting fiery darts, for which the shield of faith is how we quench the attack.

…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. EPHESIANS 6:16 NKJV

Fire throughout scripture is a term used as a metaphor for intensified emotion.

As Greek scholar, Rick Renner points out. The “fiery darts” wording comes from the Greek language. Paul writes this Greek word in the exact same way Thucydides, the ancient Greek writer used it in his own writings.