There are those who wear their emotions on their sleeves and others who hide them at all cost. But there is a balance. If you are one to hide your emotions, here are five Bible verses to help.
Emotions are tricky. Though we were created with a variety of them, we struggle to balance the rise and fall of our ever-changing feelings.
There are those who wear their emotions on their sleeves and others who hide them at all cost. But there is a balance. It’s a balance of recognizing our emotions for what they are and surrendering them to the perfect will of God.
Think of it this way: If we live our lives based on our feelings we’ll find ourselves on a roller coaster of ups and downs that leaves us disoriented and exhausted. But if we live our lives by faith, we’ll acknowledge our emotions for what they are—not hiding them—but authentically living them out within the parameters God set when He created us.
If you are one to hide your emotions, here are five Bible verses to help:
1. Let your requests be known: Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
At first glance, you might think this verse is telling you to hide your anxiety. After all, Paul was serious when he told the Philippians they were not to be anxious about anything. However, he knew as well as anyone that worry, anxiety, and fear are real emotions that everyone deals with. Therefore, he followed his directive by saying “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Amazing things can happen when you admit your worries and anxieties to the Lord, the first being His peace—which surpasses all understanding. So don’t hide your feelings of anxiety, worry, or fear. Admit them to God. Make them known. Share your feelings with a few trusted friends and ask them to pray for you. Then, allow the peace of God to cover your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Lord, please forgive me for hiding my worry and trying to bear it on my own. I release it to You, Lord. Help me take a bold step of faith and call upon a few trusted friends. Give me the words to say when contacting them, and give me courage to admit how I feel. Through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving in my heart, I confess my anxieties to You, Lord. And I receive Your indescribable peace.
In Jesus’ name,
2. Understand the seasons: Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to weep,
and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
There really is a season for everything—even showing your emotions. A sense of freedom comes when you’re willing to laugh openly, cry freely, and let your honest feelings show. Understanding the seasons simply means you live with clarity about what is going on around you and respond authentically.
For example: As things in the world grow darker by the day, you address your feelings of sorrow or frustration instead of ignoring them. It’s not that you jump on social media and shout your opinion to the world, but rather, you admit that things are uncertain and connect with people who are feeling the same way.
Understand the season you’re in and resist the urge to hide. Ask God for discernment. Pray for understanding so that when your God-given emotions rise to the surface, you’ll be willing to let them out instead of pushing them back down. In fact, others might need to see that you’re struggling too.
Gracious God, thank You for different times and seasons as well as emotions. Help me discern the times and allow my emotions to show within Your guidance and provision. By doing this, I’ll likely find that others are feeling the same way. No matter what is going on around me, help me to live authentically and faithfully. I trust You in all things.
In Jesus’ name,
3. Be of the same mind: Romans 12:15-16
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another.”
One of my closest friends is a “cryer,” but I, on the other hand, rarely cry in front of others. Sometimes, we laugh over the instant tears that spring to her eyes at the slightest thing. But we also talk about why I have a hard time “weeping with those who weep.”
Being of the same mind as Christians involves emotions. It’s spending time together talking about deeper things than the weather. It’s walking with each other through the good times and the bad. And it’s being willing to share emotions freely instead of holding back.
Pray and ask the Lord to help you rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Ask Him to dissolve the barrier you’ve put up and help you “do life” with other believers.
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for fellow believers in Christ. We need each other in this life! Please help me let my guard down and be fully invested in those around me. Open my heart to be able to rejoice when someone is happy, and weep when someone is hurting. Help me put myself in their shoes so that I can authentically respond to their situation.
In Jesus’ name,
4. Let it show: Proverbs 15:13-14a
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The discerning heart seeks knowledge.”
Holding our emotions inside only hurts us. When we seethe with anger, but never let it out, it actually takes a physical toll on our bodies. When we bury our sorrow, we find ourselves deep in depression. Heartache crushes the spirit, but if we release it, there’s no chance for it to build up and leave us down and out.
There is a right way to let our emotions show. We might not always get it right, but dealing with them is always better than stifling them. It might mean we take a grown-up time out when we feel angry, and let it out behind closed doors. Or, it might mean we need to confront someone. Whatever the case, letting our feelings show can be beneficial.
Find ways to show your emotions without letting them get the best of you. One of the ways to do that is to seek knowledge. The Bible is your first point of guidance, but there are other books and resources that can help you manage your emotions as well.
Lord God, please help me open up and release my feelings to You and to others. I pray for wisdom concerning my emotions—wisdom to handle them properly and not let them get the best of me. Please lead me to the right resources that will help me navigate how I feel. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A few resources to consider:
5. Reveal Them Wisely: Ephesians 4:26-27
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
I still remember the moment I came face to face with the consequences of my frequent outbursts of anger. My three-year-old son was playing nearby when I heard him say, “She’s mean. She’s mad. My mom is mean and mad.”
I dropped what I was doing and peered around the corner to see him playing with his action figures, having them say to each other what a mean and mad mom I was. And I was absolutely heart broken.
From that day on, I repented of my anger and allowed God to heal me. I even wrote about it in my book, Scarves of White: Replacing our Issues with the Covering of Christ. But if I’m honest, I went from displaying my anger in hurtful ways to hiding it at all cost—which wasn’t good either.
The Bible doesn’t say “never be angry.” Instead, it says, “Be angry and do not sin.” This indicates a need for discretion but not a command to stifle our feelings. If you struggle with when and how to show your emotions, consider these questions:
- Will my emotions hurt someone or help someone?
- Will sharing my emotions help me move on or hold me back?
- Will making my feelings known resolve the situation or make it worse?
You need to discern when to let your emotions show and when to let them go. And remember, when you ask God for wisdom, believing He will give it, He will! (James 1:5-7)
Gracious God, thank You for the wisdom to know when and how to show my emotions. Please keep me in check so that I don’t hurt others or get stuck in a whirlwind of feelings. Instead, please help me share my emotions freely in order to move forward and bring resolution. I pray these things.
In Jesus’ name,
Photo Credit: © Thinkstock/mheim3011
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.
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