About 15 years ago there was a fad which swept through Christian churches and became fodder for bracelets, shirts and bumper stickers- WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). It was used as a tool to remind Christians to ask themselves how Jesus would handle a situation or feel about a circumstance. Of course it's hard to go wrong whenever we place ourselves before God and ask Him how He thinks we ought to handle something but the WWJD phenomenon could be, and many times was, deceptive.
I was challenged this week to survey the emotional responses of Jesus and then ask myself, "Can I connect what I'm feeling with a similar feeling Jesus felt?" I am just beginning this exercise but what I am finding has really been liberating and encouraging. I am realizing that Jesus, at one time or another, felt and expressed all the emotions I feel. Anger, sadness, stress, confusion, frustration, loneliness, grief and many others are all part of Jesus' life. Here's the kicker, Jesus was without sin and, in fact, was the perfect image of the Father, meaning how Jesus felt is how God felt.
What's my point? My point is we are free to feel and know that feelings are not sins. Not only that, but we can express those feelings honestly. If you're like me you may have been taught only "good" feelings are to be expressed and "bad" feelings are to be hidden. One thing we learn from Jesus is that there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" feelings, just feelings, and God gave them to us because he has them too.
As we continue through the life of Christ, I pray that we will each begin to believe we are free to express ourselves honestly and know that when we do, we are exactly the way Jesus wants us to be- real.