Tuesday, May 18, 2004

As we seek to participate in our life in God, one given by grace and lived through grace, we often hear a debate surface about the emotional and rational aspects of that life. Many times the discussion devolves into a competition between proponents of one or the other of these eminently human expressions of being. On one hand, some seem to associate the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit with our emotions, while other see emotions as the greatest of pitfalls, and advocate a rational approach.

Let me suggest that the debate is not between these two aspects of human personhood, but between man and God. Those who would put their trust in rationality seem to miss the declaration of God that human understanding is corrupt - they are darkened in their understanding (Eph. 4:18) and their thinking became futile (Rom. 1:21) - just to point out two passages. Those who fail to recognize that every feeling is not from God, also fail to discern adequately that fundamental sins such as pride have hefty emotional components. With so many sins being emotive in nature, no wonder rational solutions meet with failure. Knowing the right one should do is little defense against a desire to do wrong.

I believe that the true situation is that both human emotion and rational thought are corrupted and untrustworthy. The debate is not between either being emotionally centered or intellectually guided - but being human centered or divinely guided. Both human emotion and rationality are redeemable and both may be used by God to guide. We must be aware not of the dangers of either one, but of both. We must seek how God leads and guides through both. Being confident in either feelings or thoughts is flawed, but trusting in God and Him through both is a journey to being transformed.

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