Overcoming the Lies We Believe About Our Emotions –  Encouragement for Today – January 1, 2024

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Dr. Anita PhillipsJanuary 1, 2024

Overcoming the Lies We Believe About Our Emotions

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"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)

Do you ever find yourself thinking, If only I didn't feel things so strongly? Emotions are consistently cast as the opposition in a war that never seems to end.

Like a lot of people, I grew up believing that I was meant to harness the power of my mind and that emotions were nice but often problematic. I spent decades ignoring the emotional part of myself. Maybe you did too. Maybe you still are.

But what if we saw our emotions as a gift from God?

Scripture clarifies again and again that God designed the heart to be at the center of the human experience (Matthew 22:37). Just in case you believe, as I used to, that "emotional" and "powerful" are mutually exclusive, consider these examples from the life of Jesus:

  • Jesus stood in front of Lazarus' tomb and wept (John 11:35).
  • When Jesus showed up in Jerusalem and found the temple set up to change money instead of lives, He unleashed His anger (Matthew 21:12).
  • On the cross, Jesus expressed feelings of abandonment, distress and despair (Mark 15:34).

Jesus knows what our hearts feel because He felt emotions too. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

Not only that, but Jesus expressed His feelings with His words and through His body — which means feeling isn't failing because Jesus never failed.

Have you ever deeply grieved the loss of a loved one and then felt guilty for not feeling better sooner? Have you ever been rightfully furious but held it in because you believed it would be wrong to express your anger? Have you ever desperately wanted an explanation from God but thought you might be struck by lightning for crying out, "Why?"

If having and expressing feelings wasn't a sin for Jesus, then it doesn't always have to be a sin for us. The trouble is our fallen nature, which has a propensity to affect everything we do (James 1:20). But no emotion by itself is a sin.

Let that sink in.

We spend a lot of time and energy fighting a part of us that can bring us closer to being like Jesus, don't we?

But there's more:

  • After Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb, He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44).
  • After Jesus demanded order at the temple, He performed healing miracles (Matthew 21:14).
  • After Jesus experienced anguish at Calvary, His decision to die shook the ground, tore a 30-foot temple veil in half, and set the stage for victory over death itself (Matthew 27:51-52).

In each of these instances, we see Jesus' pained heart gave way to a supernatural display. In the same way, nurturing your emotional well-being positions you to experience spiritual power.

What if you decided to end the war with your emotions and embrace them as a sign of the powerful life in Christ that you were created for? The Creator designed your heart to be a garden, not a war zone. Because a truly powerful life isn't won. It's cultivated.

Lord, thank You for modeling for me, through Jesus, the beauty and power of expressing what is on my heart. Help me to see how my emotions can bring me closer to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Too often we've been taught that all of our emotions are suspicious, something to be suppressed, managed or mastered. This isn’t true. In Dr. Anita Phillips' new book, The Garden Within, she teaches that emotions are not your enemy, internal war is not your destiny, and you were created to flourish.


Enter to WIN your very own copy of The Garden Within by Dr. Anita Phillips. To celebrate this book, Dr. Phillips' publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, January 8, 2024.}


Psalm 22:1-2, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent" (KJV).

What lies are you believing about the emotions you're feeling today? Consider writing a psalm to God expressing your feelings and your longings.

© 2024 by Dr. Anita Phillips. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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