2 Samuel 13; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12-14; Luke 19:41-44; John 16:20-24
We were created with the gift of emotions―the ability to feel life. At Creation all emotions were positive, but sin brought negative ones. Knowing how emotions work helps us understand them better.
Slips of paper, small box, Bible Concordance, paper, pencils
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Let’s try to express emotions non-verbally. Write different emotions on slips of paper and place the slips in a box. Sit in a circle and have each person select one piece of paper. One by one, express the emotion named on the paper using only body language. The other group members try to guess which emotion is being expressed.
- Now let’s practice expressing emotions verbally. Put all slips of paper back in the box. Have each person select another slip. This time, he or she speaks the emotion, saying “I’m (name the emotion), and it feels like (describe the emotion in words).”
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- As Christians, what should we do with emotions? Are we “allowed” to feel them? Or should we suppress them and live stoic lives?
- Thought Questions
Read 2 Samuel 13. In this story, what negative emotions did each character feel?
- Amnon: lust, anger, hatred
- Tamar: fear, grief, guilt, shame
- Absalom: rage, hate, sympathy, fear
- David: rage, agony, disappointment, sympathy
- David’s sons: fear, anguish
Read Galatians 5:22. How can these positive emotions make our lives better?
- They’ll make us happier by distracting us from our own problems through helping others.
- They’ll give us the peace that comes from making the right choice and doing the right thing.
- They’ll result in more companionship because people will be attracted to these traits in us.
- They’ll help us live longer because our bodies will be less stressed.
- They’ll make us appear weak and therefore make us more susceptible to being mistreated by others.
Read Hebrews 4:15. What does it mean to us that Jesus lived among us and experienced human emotions?
- Jesus can sympathize when we’re feeling sad, lonely, and discouraged.
- We don’t serve a cold, heartless, unfeeling God.
- Jesus knows what we feel like when we’re tempted and when we struggle to make the right choices.
- The Savior’s life shows us what it means to say “No” to sin.
- I’m not sure, because Jesus had the advantage of being both human and divine.
Read John 16:20-24. What encouragement can be found in this passage?
- The grieving we experience on earth will turn to joy in heaven, when God rights all wrongs.
- No matter how bad our emotional pain is now, it will be completely forgotten someday.
- Our time of grief will end; it’s not forever.
- In heaven, nothing will take away our joy.
- The day will come when we won’t need to ask God for anything; everything will be perfect.
Applying the Message of Scripture
- Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Choose a negative emotion (anger, grief, jealousy, etc.). Using the Concordance or www.biblegateway.com, find as many Bible texts as possible that can help in healing these emotions.
- Option 2: Read Galatians 5:22 again. Share a story of when someone showed one of these fruits to you when you needed it most. What did he or she do? How did it make you feel? Did the act change you in some way?
- Option 3: Do you know someone who is suffering emotionally? Visit that person this week and show that you care. Make sure he or she is getting adequate medical and psychological support.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Rethink the story in 2 Samuel 13. Do you harbor negative emotions that hurt those around you? If so, write them down and ask God to heal you from these negative emotions. If you feel they are out of control, make an appointment to discuss them with a counselor.
- Read John 16:20-24 again. Now close your eyes and imagine what that day will be like for you personally. Picture how you’ll feel, what you’ll say, and what you’ll do. When you get discouraged with life, remember this scene again.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus
Genesis 3:6-10; 15:1-3; John 14:1, 2; Matthew 6:25-34; 18:3; Philippians 4:11, 12; 1 Peter 5:7
For further study materials: