A dear friend and spiritual mentor once described emotions to me as ‘good servants but poor masters’.
I’ve often reflected on this. Without emotions life would be monochrome, inhuman – dead. Yet, if we’re ruled entirely by our emotions then the result is instability, unfaithfulness and ultimately chaos.
I shared this nugget of truth last night at my ‘Elisha band’ (an occasional get-together between pastors and their flock which happen every eight or nine weeks in our church calendar). The band went well, on the whole, and I was left afterwards with a warm fuzzy feeling of something like success.
But it was a warm, fuzzy feeling that sat on top of a cold, sharp feeling. Why? Well... not every pastoral relationship brings unqualified joy. Sometimes (often?) it’s more about heartache, conflict, uncertainty and desperate longing.
So I was left last night – and this morning – with this strange hot-and-cold inner cocktail. I want my human feelings to make me tenderer, more passionate, more open to Jesus, more humble and able to listen. I don’t want them to bully me into extremes and insanity.
I know I need others to keep me on track.
As a Christian leader, every moment of delight is bordered with sadness; every moment of despair is lit softly by joy.
Till we see Him – face to face.