Jeff Long: Is it a feelings or an emotion?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

I often have difficulty in distinguishing betweens feelings and emotions. I keep two points in mind when trying to validate my actions on these. Thinking affects how I feel and behave while emotions (the way I feel) affect what I am thinking and what I will do. You can have many different emotions to the same feeling. I am going to use anger as my example.

Becoming angry (feeling) can result in emotional states of anger, resentment, hurt and yes, even love.
In Exodus 17:6 God instructed Moses to strike a rock with his rod to get drinking water for his people. Then later in Numbers 20: 8-11 Moses was angered when his followers complained of thirst again. God told him to just speak to a rock for water. Moses’s emotional state (anger) lead him to strike the rock twice with his rod as before, thus disobeying God. Final result? Moses was punished for his outburst and disobedience (Num 20:12).

Again in Exodus 32:9-10, God became angry at Aaron (Moses’s brother) and their followers because while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments from God they made an idol and began worshipping it. God was angered to the point of getting rid of these people. Moses talked to God and calmed Him. It says in Exodus 32:14, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he had thought to do to His people.”

In Exodus 32:15-35 it tells of Moses becoming angry and breaking the stone tablets (Ten Commandments) on the rocks as he saw a golden calf they had made and were worshipping. These events show more signs of being angry, creating anger.

In Numbers 22: 5-18, Balak, son of Zippor, King of Moab was afraid of the Israelites. He sent messengers to Balaam, son of Beor. Balak wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites so that they wouldn’t be a threat to him (Numbers 22:6). God told Balaam not to go with the messengers (Numbers 22:12), so he refused twice (v 13, 18). Then in Numbers 22:20 God told him to go, but only say what I tell you.

Verse 21 tells he begins his journey which kindled God’s Anger (v 22). God sent an angel to block his path, for He knew of Balaam’s thoughts of disobedience. His donkey which he was riding could see the angel but he couldn’t. He thought his donkey was being hard to control when it was avoiding collision with the angel. He smote the donkey three separate times until in verse 28 it tells of the donkey responding about being hit with Balaam’s staff. This is another example of becoming angry turning to anger resulting in a violent action. Similar to our road rage today.


Now in Matthew 15:22-28, there’s a woman of canaan seeking help for her daughter. The disciples resented her being a Canaanite and told her to go away. Finally Jesus blessed and healed her daughter because of the woman’s faith. This shows the disciples being angry at the woman from resentment due to her ancestry.

The whole book of Job is a story where being angry turned to the emotional state of hurt and betrayal. Job was being used as a test of faith and loyalty to God by Satan. The first 29 chapters tell of the feeling’s building to anger but also his being obedient to God. It concludes as more of an emotion of hurt. Job 30 speaks of his anguish. Finally Job was blessed more over than before his trial by God and Satan. Satan was defeated.

Now what about the emotion love? In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), it tells of Jesus going into the temple at Jerusalem when Passover was at hand (John 2:13), and “cleaning house.” Merchants were selling livestock and money changers weren’t being completely honest. Jesus made a whip and went to the temple and cleaned up the corruption that made Him angry (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46 and John 2:14-16). He did this for the love and respect he had for his Father’s as well as his own house. I call this, “righteous” anger or anger that is justifiable.

I’ve shown that there are many different emotions that can result from the same feeling. It’s not wrong to have these feelings, however, what makes for right or wrong are the actions we put with our feelings. If we’ll just realize that we are humans and make mistakes, we can learn and move forward. Just allow God to make our decisions on everything. He makes no mistakes.

Finally, admit to God you are a sinner, ask Him to forgive your sins, for you believe Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day to pay the price for our sins and to give you eternal life with Him. Then receive the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God as well as other Christians. Then we can clean up His temple (the world) with love once again.

God bless all!

Jeff Long

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