Emotions & Self-Deception

My recent sermon provided a biblical overview of what emotions are and what we ought to do with them. As I explained, emotions reveal what's in our heart. They serve as indicators of what we love the most and fear the most, which is to say that they reveal the object of our worship. One of the most common defense mechanisms that we are tempted to use in difficult or undesirable situations is that of denial or self-deception. As one Christian counselor wrote, "Neurotics are those who build castles in the air; psychotics are those who move into them; and psychiatrists are the ones who collect the rent." Most psychotropic medications used on emotional problems don't fix anything, but simply deaden all feelings so that a person cares less about how bad they feel (and cares less about everything else in life). We are easily drawn into denial and delusions, because the reality of our own brokenness and the reality of the fallen world in which we live can be overwhelming apart from a deep-rooted, humble faith in the Lord. Emotions can be very helpful--even sinful emotions--because they keep us in touch with reality and provide an opportunity to deal honestly with the Lord.

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