Taken from my comments on this post by Jason B. on ablogapart.com My comments sum up my thoughts concerning things God has been teaching me over the past six months, and I thought them important enough to post here outside ablogapart.com’s forum.
Man is an emotional being, even when directed by his mind; his emotions are a driving force behind everything he does. Dwelling on the horrors of hell or the happiness of heaven serves to evoke the emotions bound to such places, making the desire to avoid the one more passionate and gain the other more poignant.
I was just thinking further, and it occurs to me that life is very much about the stewardship of emotions. You will, with certainty, experience a wide variety of emotions in your life, and those emotions will serve to push you in many different directions. They are very much like the wind, an ever-present entity, waxing and waning throughout life.
It is the responsibility of the mind, our responsibility, to cast our sails to those winds, trim them, and plot a course in a direction that is pleasing to God.
But without the emotions, we would flounder. When people talk about God’s will, and how it is the best place a person can be, the reason is that when one is in God’s will, the emotional winds will not cease to blow.
If we, as Jonah did, try to sail in the wrong direction, banking on winds that prove foul, we will end up in storms that will not cease till change our course.
Yet foul winds will blow, even if you sail true to your course, thus it is with determination, and hope (an emotion), strengthened by the knowledge born of faith that better things await, that the goal is worth the effort of treacherous winds.
Stewardship… we must take all those different assets (hope, love, knowledge), and liabilities (greed, lust, pride), and make something of them worth laying at His feet.
The interesting thing about this train of thought, when you consider salvation in its context is that it becomes evident that only a Christian will be able to steer a proper course through violent seas, and that when it is all accomplished, the Christian will not be able to claim credit for attaining it. This is true because only the emotions given by God (hope, love) are strong enough to motivate a person to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Christ.