I am a sensitive and deeply-feeling person.
And being someone with a lot of feelings, I tend to cry about a lot of things. Most people probably don’t know that about me… even friends.
I do a pretty good job of hiding it until I am in the safety of my car or home. But this year has been quite difficult.
My sister-in-law passed away earlier this year and my grandfather is currently dying of stage 4 cancer. So you can only imagine how often I cry these days (I’m a ticking time bomb!).
Yet, there has been something particularly disheartening me of late. There are people in my life that are very practical and positive outlook towards my grandfather’s situation.
Focusing On The Positive
What I mean is that these individuals aren’t as emotional as I am about it all. And it’s during these times of tragedy that it’s really obvious to me how we all view the same situation very differently.
Specifically, these rational individuals focus on the natural and good process of death. My grandpa has had a long life and he won’t be in any pain any longer after he goes.
I agree wholeheartedly on this! So I tried to focus on these things instead of the heartbreak of it all.
But when I went to visit my grandfather recently, he looked like a completely different person. He lost a lot of weight, was in a lot of pain, and couldn’t speak much because of a stroke he had not too long ago.
Death was slowly destroying the man I knew, and it was hard to ignore how I felt about it. And though I tried so hard to focus on the practical side of him dying, I eventually failed miserably.
One evening, while at home, I started bawling again. I asked God, “Is it a sin to focus on the negative instead of the positive? Is it sinful to allow my feelings to look at the tragedy instead of the beauty in this?”
I was unable to do what others were so easily capable of. Not only this, but Joyce Meyer often preaches the downside of emotions and feelings.
How feelings can cause us to think inwardly, selfishly, and negatively in life. And I agree on her stance as well, so what was I to think?
But God said to me, “You’re feelings aren’t a sin. They are a compass, a guide, and an indicator.” He went on to say that He gave us feelings in order for us to know when something is wrong.
That sin only occurs when we either avoid our feelings or use them to play into our selfish desires. So an example would be feeling offended and harboring offense within us, causing unrighteous thoughts and actions that go against God’s commands.
Or another example is if we ignore our feelings; ever seen the movie Anger Management? Avoidance may lead to a mental break down, midlife crisis, or some other drastic and life-changing decision that goes against God’s will for us.
And so God concluded by saying, “I made you to have these feelings on purpose. Someone else may not have the same level of sensitivity as you and it’s because I’ve made them that way. Don’t ever feel guilty for the way I’ve designed you.”
And that’s what I had been feeling at the root of everything: guilt. I was feeling guilty for not remaining practical and positive about the situation.
I’ve felt guilt on many occasions over my sensitivities. That being emotional, sensitive, or quick-to-cry is not a good thing.
Others in my life, as well as society, has made me think that emotions only hinder a situation. Especially when I was in the military, being emotional is seen as weakness and is useless in decision-making and leadership situations.
There’s even people that roll their eyes and make fun of those that feel deeply. To them, I profess that God has made us with different levels of sensitivity.
By trying to conform someone to your level, you are going against God’s unique design of us all. Perhaps, instead, everyone should be more accepting and considerate.
Perhaps, instead, we should realize and appreciate how sensitive people may discern things more readily than others. And let me make this clear: when I use the word sensitive or emotional, I’m not meaning someone that is easily offended.
I mean someone that starts crying during a cancer advertisement, feels depressed by a friend’s hardships, or becomes terribly upset from hearing of another mass shooting. It’s those individuals that deeply and quickly feel of which I am speaking of.
Like a child that cries when he sees someone crying on the Television, or a teenager that is extremely passionate about a cause. Or even a granddaughter that gets upset over her grandfather’s painful transition to the afterlife.
God has made each of us in His likeness. Accepting different levels of emotional responses to a situation shows that we are accepting of the full image of God.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Fulfilling His Design
So if it bothers you to see someone express their emotions, ask why? Is it because you hold a negative view of expressing feelings?
Or has someone in your past made fun of you for having them? If you still aren’t an emotional person after answering these questions, then God’s answer to you is that He has made you as you are on purpose.
More importantly, know that He has made others as they are on purpose. And if I am created to be deeply-feeling, then that makes me better able to fulfill His calling and purpose for my life.
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