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emotions – living life in colour

By Graham Beynon
March 2013 | Review by Tony Bickley

Synopsis

We love them. We hate them. But we certainly cannot ignore them. Emotions can be wonderful things we love or horrible things we hate - depending on how we're feeling at the time. Sometimes we feel at their mercy and think that God would have been so much wiser to have made us without them. But we can't get away from it: God made us to feel. Emotions thinks through the place of emotions, how we view them, handle them and glorify God with them. We see that the mature Christian life involves a fully-functioning emotional life and that emotions flow from the heart. We focus on how we can grow in good and godly emotions. We look at emotions and reading the Bible, emotions and singing praise to God, and the best way up when we are feeling down.

  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-589-0
  • Pages: 184
  • Price: 8.99
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Book Review

Emotions (living life in colour)

Graham Beynon

IVP

184 pages, £8.99

ISBN: 978-1-84474-589-0

Star Rating: 4 stars

 

‘The first challenge to us is to feel more. Some of us, because of our Christian upbringing or Christian culture, have been taught to suppress emotions. That usually goes hand in hand with thinking of emotions as bad and dangerous.’ These words sum up the whole purpose of this very useful look at the subject of Christian emotions.

     After introducing the subject and defining what emotions are and what our attitudes towards them should be the author asks, ‘What do perfect emotions look like?’ To answer this question the author examines the emotional life of Jesus in such a way as to portray His full humanity, and to show how, within His humanity he experienced perfect emotions, but was always in control of them.           

     Many of us struggle to properly express our emotional life. We are probably guilty of seeking to hide our emotions so that we show no weakness to our Christian friends. The author wants us to experience the full range of emotions from love to anger, and everything in between, but in a balanced and right way. I believe that many Christians could benefit by reading this, imbibing it, and seeking to live it, so that they are neither emotionally driven, nor emotionally barren.

     The psalms of David are a rich source of instruction in this area. The gospels show us that Jesus too had an emotional life, but the book is not emotions driven, rather it is sensibly portraying the human condition, and our need to feel.

     The book is full of many helpful examples of real life experiences; it has a useful question page at the end of each chapter, and could easily be used as a study for the whole Church, or for new or young Christians.

     On the whole it’s a very useful read, instructive, written in an easy style, and extremely helpful. I would recommend the book to Christians of every age, including ministers.

     The book left me with many thoughts, not the least of them was this: let me begin to feel my faith in a balanced and right way, to have the compassion of the Lord for those who suffer, and His heart for those who are starved of love, especially of His love. Let me understand that the congregation has a myriad of emotions running through their lives that do not need eradicating, but need sanctifying in and by God’s Holy Spirit. Our emotions show that we care, and our care for others is right and good.

 

Tony Bickley

Brighton

 

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