SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Spiritual health also includes emotional health

I’ve been grappling with something lately. Can I be honest with you? Even though I am a Pastor, I have to admit that there are Christians who are lousy human beings.
Just because you’re a Christian does not mean you have your act together.
Joe is an usher at his church. He smiles at people as he hands out the Sunday programs. As he drives home he pronounces the death sentence on another driver who pulled out in front of him.
Susan is a leader of the women’s group. She has been a believer for over 20 years. She knows the Bible quite well and is a good teacher. Yet she enjoys gossiping and complaining about other people in her church.
Pete serves on the board of his church. He is intelligent and is a creative business leader. Yet his marriage is on the rocks because he yells at his wife and kids and can be so insensitive.
You get my point. (By the way, none of these people attend my church. I think they attend the church across town…ok…just a joke!)
I am coming to realize that so much of our discipleship and spirituality does not address our emotional health.
As Christians, we can carry with us years of sadness, hurt, pain, and bad tempers. And honestly, I struggle with these things too. No one is immune.
So what do we do? Did Jesus come just to forgive us and not to change us? What about all those Bible verses that talk about change and transformation?
When I look deep into Scripture, I see that spiritual health includes emotional health.
The more “Christian” I become, the more my emotions and feelings align with Jesus. If I really am being filled with his Spirit, I will experience the Spirit’s fruit.
You may know that passage in Galatians chapter five that lists the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
If I am really following Jesus and being filled with his Spirit, these are the virtues and the emotions that I will experience.
I don’t intend to pull you away from any other church in town, but if you aren’t plugged into a local church, I encourage you to give us try.
This September I am starting a nine-week sermon series on the fruit of the Spirit. We will explore what it means to be an emotionally healthy person. Peace be with you.
Pastor Greg Henneman, Clarkston Community Church

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