the gospel is the antonym, part 2: emotional entanglement

As I said last time, this probably won’t be fun for anyone, especially the author. That is even more true of this round. Because emotions are the sort of things that seem most to entangle every age, genders, and they are that over which we seem to have the least control.

God wants (and will have) complete control over our every part: but He is our Creator, and He knows that our hearts are the wellsprings of the rest of our lives, so He asks for them specifically. Since the fall, and the enslavement of the human race to sin (remember, enslavement is not only a effect of sin, but a consequence of it) we have sought some object on which to rest our hearts, to drive us to take on the rest of the day, or just to make it by. And even after our hearts are taken captive to the Jesus, we still have this sneaky, inbred tendency to forget the Gospel, and to allow the desires of our hearts to be satiated by some lesser object. And just as a deeper digging into the Gospel causes us to bring our lives into conformity to it more and more, a deeper fostering and feeding of emotional entanglements, (that is, setting the deepest desires of our hearts on some temporary object), bind us further to these emotions.

The most obvious form that this takes is the way in which we relate to other human beings. God made us to be anything but independent creatures: He gave perfect man a companion, and He means for us, always, to seek our ultimate satisfaction in relationships. And the reason for this is because we are all to find our eventual and ultimate fulfilment in a relationship with HIM. Once He gives us this, there are a hundred different lesser relationships that He means us to prize as gifts from Him and helps toward deepening this central one. But these are the ones we most often twist, being such as

…our peer groups, and indeed all of our dear friends upon whom we lean, are given us to point us to the Father, and indeed to be a source of delight and rest. But once we begin to find our fulfillment in these, and we are lost in either nostalgia of our past times with them, or in anticipation of our next times with them, they have overstepped their purpose.

…children, or people who look up to us.

…and without a doubt, those of the opposite sex. God deliberately placed within us a huge desire for intimacy with “opposites” because He created such human relationships to reflect His mystical relationship with His church. But our hearts are prone to such joy in being emotionally intimate with another, and addiction to sense the security, and the fellowship that comes with it, that we absolutely refuse to put a leash on our hearts. We become distracted, and drawn away,  by whatever object on which we are feel like placing our attentions. God may lead such desires to higher things, but most often, it is at best unprofitable, at worst destructive, when we thus stray.

But though the problem is relatively easy to analyze, most of the remedies that are given us on the radio at 9am, or blogs at 9pm, are futile because they do not fuel us with a God-ward alternative. But surely, surely the Gospel is as antonymous to this as it is to sexual desire.

Pure and simple, rather than emptying ourselves of all emotional desire, the Gospel shows us a Christ that emptied Himself of His desires and feeling for the desires and feelings of Another, and by extension, others. His exact words were, “Not My will, but Thine be done.”

I’m not trying to be heretical and say the Jesus dragged His feet to the Cross; we understand that He and His Father were One. But the text above is not to be overlooked. In the garden, and on the cross, His real, human soul was consumed with absolute agony. Agony that was infinitely greater than that which you feel when Sally doesn’t pour on you the attentions you desire, brothers. Agony greater that was infinitely greater than the tears you cry onto your pillow when Joe was gazing at some other girl, sisters. An agony that was only endured, not because He didn’t really feel it, but because He was preoccupied by God’s will.

So, what about when we can’t seem to get a grip on ourselves? Does the Gospel just leave us with kicking ourselves in the ribs till we are too numb to find joy in anything? Or does it give us the chance to pit our wills against our feeling, to want the Will of the Father above the dictates of our God-given but sin-misguided desires?

And just as Christ’s eternal reward was declared to be so much above His sufferings, so our being able to cast ourselves on whatever our tender Father dictates will prove exceedingly better than just following wherever our feelings point.

After all, Christ has our hearts: that does NOT mean that they will never be able to share with some male/female object. But if He has our hearts, doesn’t it make perfect sense that He knows best the human object to whom we are to give them?

~~

I would love to write deeper on this. Please forgive the confusing conciseness of what is written above.

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