Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Emotional gods

You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean?

We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

When we hear this, we are often distracted by things. Like money, cars, and anything else that falls within the category of Mammon. But how often are we deceived by the evil foe into making gods out of our emotions? Especially when it comes to worship? For example, perhaps you have thought sometime before, during or after the Divine Service: "This service/church/liturgy/pastor/music/etc. makes me feel bored so it must not really mean anything." You have made your own emotion of happiness, joy, excitement or boredom more important than God Almighty.

When Elijah heard the threats of Jezebel in I Kings 19, he allowed his fear for his own life to become a god that was more powerful than the true God of whom he was a humble prophet. Every footfall that took him farther from Jezebel and closer to perceived safety was a creed confessing his belief in his own fear.

Emotions are not the be-all and end-all measure of whether or not something is true. They often deceive, lead astray, tempt, lie and even kill. Emotions certainly have their place, but even the fact that I always feel compelled to make that disclaimer shows just how dangerous the temptation to deify our feelings is.

We are to fear, love, and trust in God above all things, that includes our emotions. Satan will do everything he can to try to keep us focused on how we feel about our relationship to God, but ultimately, we must trust that God has loved us with an ever-lasting love and we see that in His Word and in the blessed Sacraments which He gives to His people for the sake of His holy, precious and adorable Son, Jesus Christ.

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