Nothing motivates people better than emotions. When we allow our natural instinctive feelings to create a state of mind, we are being emotionally driven. We all have emotions as a part of God’s wonderful design of the mind. God has emotions and we have the capability via the spirit in man to share those emotions. You don’t have to live long in this world to know that there are positive emotions which build and strengthen and that there are negative emotions which are destructive.
The adversary is aware of man’s proclivity to be motivated by emotion and works aggressively to promote feelings of disconnect from God. Anger, frustration, and pride are strong motivators that do not promote a healthy connection to God. We, unfortunately, live in an environment full of negative emotions that seem to be increasing in intensity. Violent acts that seemingly have no particular trigger happen around us with regular occurrence.
The political landscape is a minefield of emotions. The very nature of politics encourages many skilled manipulators to move people in a particular direction. We are well aware of the existence of “fake news” and how it is designed to manipulate emotions and subsequent actions. Many social causes have a high emotional content to persuade people to act as they want. Climate change certainly comes to mind. While there are certain facts about the climate changing, there are those who are using it to drive an emotionally charged social deconstruct. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men …” (Colossians 2:8). Philosophy appeals to the natural instinctive feelings of the mind.
Britain just held an emotionally charged election and America is involved in a never-ending political process. Emotions are played like a violin by the participants and the media. We need to keep admonitions such as Paul’s in mind. “… casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God …” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
God’s people have emotions and can be susceptible to the negativity that surrounds us. We are instructed to control our emotions. “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back … a wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention” (Proverbs 29:11; 15:18).
Of course, God provides the power needed to be slow to anger and to hold back negative emotions. God’s power is a Spirit which provides a sound mind. But we have to be aware of our emotions and willing to identify those which do not contribute to godliness. We are not to be conformed to this world – not allowing social manipulators to induce negative motivation.
A sound mind will always keep God in the picture. He has given us the ability to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). We need our emotions to flow from the Spirit of God – not from the spirit of this world.