I don’t know where your opinion may be when you hear the word “emotions” but what I do realize is that we each can a variety of different views based on our upbringing, experiences, and circumstances alone. So, I visited brainy quotes and pulled up a few of some popular ones on emotions. As you read them ask yourself, which resonate as truth for me?
“I grew up in a culturally radical home, where strong emotions were forbidden.”
Lars von Trier
“I have a women’s body and a child’s emotions.”
“Whether we like it or not, men and women are not the same in nature, temperament, emotions and emotional responses.”
Well, I don’t know where your view may be in any of these quotes but what I do hope to offer you is a rational understanding of our three primary emotions. Love, Anger and Fear answering the questions; What do each of these emotions have in common? and Which truly are opposite?
To help us understand these emotions let’s think about “color.” The color you might find in a digital printer. The cartridge contains three primary colors red, yellow and blue and when you add black to these colors you get a full assortment of colors. The same is true with these emotions while they remain primary they are also under a vast range of emotions or what one would call feelings.
What do love, anger and fear have in common?
They each have movement. Love is the greatest force on earth! It is movement towards someone or something. We want to be with it, there is a desire that is present that seems to draws us to it. This is such a great time of year to plan BBQ with our friends or neighbors. Join in on sporting events. Or attend a family reunion. We will go to great distances and lengths to be with those we love. Once I feel the first hint of warmth in the air, I announce to my husband, John, we need to go golfing!
Many think anger is the opposite of love, it is not. Anger has movement in the same direction as love but with force. Let me clarify I am not talking about a hatred or violence here. When we read in scripture, “be angry and sin not” it is stating that anger in and of itself is not a sin. On the other hand, the bible has a lot to say about violence and how wrong and sinful that is. I am referring to a type of anger in which there is a passion present because you do care for someone and something. For instance, you might see this displayed toward the person choosing not to attend the family reunion. 🙂
A healthy anger always moves toward forgiveness.
We also need our anger to enforce our boundaries, morals and injustices. You may feel this when you see a hungry child or view a wounded or stay animal. Maybe you’ve had the misfortune of having a personal belonging either stolen or threatened to be taken from you. Our anger becomes unhealthy, when we seek to use it for revenge.
Fear is the opposite of love.
Because none of us can love perfectly we fear. Even if you have any mixture of fear or even perceived fear we will move away. Fear generally has a focus, its concrete. I can tell you what I’m afraid of? Fear of public speaking, fear of snakes. The list can be endless.
The good news is the more we love the less we fear. I read this statement on a friends post, To love deeply, brings strength…to be loved deeply, courage. It’s simply stated yet incredibly profound. Personally, I feel the gravity of my courage being testing each time I read this quote knowing it will require me to risk courage to make a lasting and loving connection.
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thess. 3:5
Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Eph 4:26
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Ps.4:4
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
*Notes adapted from the Courageous Living series from AACC
God’s EXTRAVAGANT, Outrageous Love for YOU