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Share Your Heart // John 11

Share Your Heart // John 11

TLIB received supplies from The Ink Road in exchange for a feature in this post.

 
 
God invites you to use your gifts to express praise to Him, especially if you use them with a grateful, joyful heart.
— CFSLPB re: John 11:19-44

Someone once said that worship is not an emotional experience. Flat out. No exceptions.

And I say that's a lie. Worship can be a very emotional experience. 

I mean, I understand that our human emotions can get in the way of a lot of things; they can lead to overreactions and insecurities, and our emotions can, in fact, lie to us. I get that. But if our hearts are in the right place during worship, and we are experiencing "a moment" with God, how could that not make our hearts soar, our souls sing and dance, and our eyes well up a little, accompanied by emotional lumps in our throats?

I think the question is really not about if we get emotional during worship. I think it's about WHY we're getting emotional -- what caused #allthefeels. In other words, we have to check our hearts.

Our worship, when it's seen by others, should be emitting something that's pouring out of our hearts and souls. What we share, what we show, should be a reflection of our hearts.

 

God created us in His image.

Do you think God never feels anything? Do you think He's never felt joy, elation, excitement, sorrow, anger? I feel those things... you probably feel those things. Those feelings are some that cause tears to well up in my eyes, and those feelings, those emotions, are part of my make-up. God put them there.

Heart Check to Appease the Critics: God created emotional responses, but it's our responsibility to learn how to control them. We don't get to blame our emotions for our actions, use them to gain favor, or let them lead us into questionable situations. We are allowed to feel, but we also need to take responsibility for our feelings. We can (at least try to) control our emotions instead of letting them control us. Create balance. 

I opened the top of this post with a partial quote. Let me share the rest here:

God invites you to use your gifts to express praise to Him, especially if you use them with a grateful, joyful heart. If, however, they become your avenue for seeking acceptance and prestige — as with Martha at the beginning (Luke 10:38-42) — then they can become a source of bitterness and resentment. Your actions can either proclaim Christ or seek your own advancement. You can use your talents with an attitude of praise or an attitude of self-promotion.
— CFSLPB re: John 11:19-44

So really, this post is about emotions, worship, and GIFTS. 

Let me tie this up in a nice, neat bow for you (it'll actually be messy and might not make sense, but just pretend):

First, don't be afraid of your emotions. They'll betray you at times, sure, but don't let that stop you from ever entering "that place" for fear that your emotions will get in the way. Feel. And accept what you're feeling. God gave you emotions, and there are some really good ones, so don't be afraid to just feel. As for being afraid of getting emotional during worship: If you're afraid that maybe what you're experiencing isn't spiritual, but is rather just an emotional manifestation, you're probably believing some sort of lie that someone placed in your heart at some point. Again though, check your heart.

Second, worship can be an emotional experience. If you're crying and feeling things while you're creating, singing, writing a song or a poem, dancing; if you're crying and feeling things because you're in awe of God while you're watching your children play, or witnessing the sun set or rise, that does not mean that you're "submitting" to your weak, human emotions. Emotions do not make you weak. You can be experiencing real worship and spiritual revelation through your tears and feelings. 

And third, when you're sharing your gifts with a heart full of gratefulness and joy, that is a form of worship. I don't believe the quote from my study bible means that we should not share our gifts or not pursue a profession that aligns with our gifts! I believe what it means is that anything we do share or pursue should glorify God above all else. Our hearts should be shown on those pages, in those words, in our songs, etc. Our aim shouldn't be to showcase our skill and craftmanship when we share our gifts, it should be to glorify our Father and showcase His wonderful love for us. So share your heart.

And you know what? Side note: What anyone believes about us when we wear our hearts on our sleeves or when we share our gifts in a public way is their business and is none of our concern. If someone else doesn't think your heart is in the right place and therefore you shouldn't be doing this-or-that, that is something they need to work out in their own heart, with God; don't let others' opinions of you prevent you from shouting His praises from the rooftops. He knows your heart, and He is who matters.

 
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