Every Day Light
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses '" (v. 15)
For reading & meditation:
Yesterday we ended with the case of the woman who said that she didn't know how to mourn, when in reality her problem was she didn't want to mourn. Whenever we are unwilling to face a negative emotion, it implies that we are not in control of it, but that it is in control of us. Christians are often taught to pretend that they feel joyful when really they are miserable. Our text today, however, tells us that we have a great High Priest who can sympathise with us in our weaknesses. How pointless it is to conceal our weaknesses from the Lord and deny ourselves the comfort of His uncritical compassionate understanding. This is very important, for I would say that eight out of ten Christians have a completely wrong view of how to handle hurts and sorrows. The typical Christian reaction to negative emotions is either denial or expression. We dealt yesterday with the issue of denial - refusing to face them and feel them - so let's consider for a moment what we mean by the term "expression". The expression of emotions is the act of letting our emotions out. This is a popular approach with many of today's counsellors and therapists. They say, when you feel upset, hurt or angry, then shout and scream or punch a pillow until you have released those pent-up emotions. There is no doubt that some relief can be gained in this way, but it is not a very Biblical or mature way of dealing with our negative feelings. The right way of handling negative feelings is neither to deny them or express them, but to acknowledge them. But more of that tomorrow.
O Father, I see that this whole issue of emotions is a minefield in which I must tread carefully and cautiously. Take my hand as I move through this area and lead me to clear and Biblical conclusions. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
Come to http://www.cwr.org.uk for more inspirational devotions by Selwyn Hughes.