Emotions are great, but…

Have you ever gotten teary eyed after reading a book or watching a movie or show?  Why do we do that?  We know it’s not “real,” but we get misty.

Emotions are great.  They allow us to connect, empathize, sympathize, enjoy, and be in awe.

The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, our family was moving back to California and Patty, our children, and I spent time at the Grand Canyon.  Words cannot adequately explain how I felt standing next to it.  It was emotional.

Photo by author

That memory is etched in my mind not because the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and is over a mile deep at its max depth (6,093 feet to be precise).  The memory is etched in my mind because of the emotional impact it made.

Emotions are great.

But emotions can also mislead us. 

My emotions have betrayed me as well.  I have made up entire scenarios in my mind about how someone feels about me only to come up and have missed it by 180 degrees.  That was also my emotions.

Emotions are great, but they can also mislead us.

This is where wisdom comes in to the equation.  Proverbs 24:3-4 instructs us as follows:

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  

Proverbs 24:3-4
New International Version

Did you know the average person has a 3.66% chance of getting into an automobile accident on a 1,000-mile trip?  Did you know cows kill (on average) twenty people per year?  Those are facts.

Facts can trigger our emotions and can cause fear, sometimes crippling fear.  I personally know people who don’t like to drive because they are so afraid they’re going to be in an accident or even die.  Of course, the odds are against it, but these odds aren’t zero.  Same for a cow.

Wisdom, however, steps in to override our emotions when needed.  The house of our lives cannot be built on runaway emotions.  Wisdom builds our lives.  Understanding (think of it like “experience”) establishes our course. 

When we are building our lives, it isn’t built on emotion.  Isn’t that interesting?  While not negating the importance of emotions in our lives, our lives are not established, built, or furnished with emotions, but with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. 

Photo by Bidvine from Pexels

One of the great lessons I learned in auto sales I gladly pass on to others who are buying cars is this: leave emotion at the door.  Why?  As great as they are, our emotions will carry our head away into places we’d not normally go. 

What’s true in purchasing is true in life: we must be careful to not let our emotions furnish the house of our lives.  They add color to the rooms and give our knowledge a rich vividness, but emotions make a lousy foundation.

Instead, seek the wisdom of the Lord.  Build your life on understanding and knowledge. 

Feel and feel deeply.  As a mentor of mine often says, “be passionate—nobody wants anything else!”  But we must not check our brains at the door and let our emotions drive our lives. 

Emotions are great, but they can mislead us.