Want to learn more about The Bible and Human Emotions? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Does the Bible seem to be a good place to learn about
human emotions? Consider Galatians 5:22-23 which says that the
“fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and
self-control.” How many of those fruits are either emotions or
closely connected to emotion? Anyone who has read Robert Whitaker’s
book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, has serious doubts about consulting
science to cure emotional and mental problems. His book describes
the fact that in the United States we have a huge increase in the
number of emotionally impaired people which began with the
development of drugs to treat mental problems. His thesis is that
using the current drugs is like throwing rocks into a sophisticated
machine. Drugs simply make the problem worse. Whether or not science
has the answers I am not qualified to say, but let’s jump into our
series of studies to see what answers are in the Bible!
“One Day at a Time.” “Don’t worry, be happy.” “What –
Me Worry?” I think of the first as a bumper sticker, the second the
slogan of an island, the third a quote from Alfred E. Neuman on the
cover of Mad magazine. Are these words to live by? Or, are they the
thoughts of the short-sighted, lazy and crazy? Generally, my
solution to worry is to work harder, exercise more and plan better.
Am I crazy? What is your approach to worry? Does anxiety cripple
your life and make it less pleasant? Let’s dive into the Bible and
see what we can learn about God’s view about worry!
Is all stress bad? I know that too much stress makes
it easier for me to get sick. On the other hand, some stress helps
me to work efficiently. When it comes to public speaking, some
stress helps me to do my best. Too much stress turns my brain to
mush. Let’s agree that too much stress is not good for us. Do you
feel you have too much stress? Imagine the stress my father (and
many like him) endured in his years in a World War II combat zone!
Never did I think that if I lost a court argument someone would kill
me! If you feel you suffer from too much stress, come with me as we
explore what the Bible has to teach us about handling stess!
At the very beginning of the Bible we find God saying
“it is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18. In that
statement God seems to vote in favor of relationships. However, how
many times do you find that having relationships with others, not
being alone, creates most problems? What does the Bible teach us
about relationships? Does God’s statement about humans not being
alone have a deeper meaning? Let’s dive into our study and learn
what the Bible teaches about relationships!
One of my dear friends spent years in psychotherapy to
rid himself of guilt. Because my friend no longer had any active
Christian practice, when I saw him I would tell him that “guilt is
good,” when it comes to God troubling our hearts about our attitudes
and behavior. Ultimately, my dear friend decided that the best
course was to remove me from his life. What do you think, is guilt
good or bad? Revelation 12:10 calls Satan the accuser of the
brethren. Was I playing the role of Satan? When your conscience
bothers you, can you dismiss it as Satan’s attempts to discourage
you? Or, is it the Holy Spirit calling you to repentance? Let’s
plunge into our Bible and see what it teaches us about guilt!
Have you heard Christians debate “faith” versus
“works?” Of course you have. If you don’t think this appropriately
captures the issue, consider another approach: “righteousness by
attitude.” Over the years, I have come to believe that faith and
works are not alternatives. Rather, they compliment each other.
Both arise, I have come to believe, from our attitude. Our lesson
this week is about “Good Thinking,” which sounds like another term
for “attitude.” Let’ dive into our study of the Bible and see what
we can discover on this subject!
Last week I heard an inspirational message pointing
out that humans, and specifically Christians, are God’s hands and
feet to accomplish His will on earth. When you get sick it is God’s
will for you to go to a medical doctor. If our lesson was titled
“Hope Against Broken Bones,” I would tell you to immediately see a
doctor, not study the Bible to fix your broken bone. Is depression
(a broken mind), like a broken bone? Some think so. The mind is a
part of the body. Fixing a broken mind, however, is infinitely more
complex than fixing a broken bone. If you have a “broken mind,” I
think you should consult a specialist – on two conditions. First,
you must only consult a committed Christian. Much in psychiatry and
psychology is directly at odds with the Bible. Second, you must read
Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic. This is what lawyers call
“informed consent.” Whitaker argues that much of psychotropic
medicine is like throwing a rock in a finely tuned machine. Let’s
explore what the Creator of our finely tuned machine has to say
Many people alive today have had a relatively easy
life. Imagine what it was like to be a young person in Europe 100
years ago. You would experience, if you survived, two major wars. My
dear father grew up in a poor family during the Great Depression,
and then was drafted into the army during World War II. He found
himself part of the invasion of Normandy and spent 33 months in a
war zone. Many people of that generation had a similar experience.
What if your life seemed destined for especially unfavorable
treatment? Would you be able to “bounce back?” Would you show
resilience? Let’s dive into our Bible study and see what we can
learn from those who faced difficult times!
God says, “whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
him will I not endure.” Psalms 101:5. Worse, when Proverbs lists the
six things God detests, guess what is listed first? “Haughty eyes!”
Proverbs 6:17. On the other hand, Romans 2:7 endorses “glory, honor
and peace” for everyone who does good. How should self-esteem and
humility live together? Can they? Is self-esteem just another term
for pride? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and find out!
Do you dwell on the fact that beautiful young women will
get old? Handsome men will lose their hair and gain a stomach?
Gravity overtakes all? The rich should be taxed more? Welcome to the
world of the envious and jealous! Some envy may have good economic
results – you work diligently to buy things. The problem is that
keeping up financially with those around you is a moving target. With
each new level of society you rise to, you find people who are richer
and have even more stuff. The work to keep up never ends! What is the
solution? Let’s plunge into our study to see what the Bible teaches
us about jealousy and how to deal with it!
If I asked you to name some addictions, what would you
say? No doubt you would mention drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling,
pornography, sex and food. What about these things make them an
“addiction?” The habitual and progressive nature of the problem –
you cannot stop even when you know it is harming you – qualify these
problems to be called “addictions.” When you are addicted, you are
obsessed. In our lesson this week, we will not spend much time on
the type of addictions, as much as identifying the source of the
problem and what the Bible teaches us about leaving our addictions
behind. Let’s dive right into God’s word!
If I asked you, “What is the greatest challenge to
your peace of mind,” what would you say? Would it be a relationship
problem? Someone is not following the “rules” of kind and loving
behavior? Would it be a lack of money? How about a concern about
health? A concern over your job? Have you considered what nature has
to teach us about those things that disturb our peace and cause us
worry? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can
learn about this!
Have you noticed that you acquire attitudes and habits
from your friends and co-workers? If you are wise, you just
appropriate those which are good. Sometimes it is just a small thing
you adopt, but it makes you a better person. For about twenty years,
Rex Reed was my boss. One day I saw Rex pick up some trash laying on
the floor of the office bathroom. We paid people to clean the
bathroom. Probably it was some slob who threw the trash on the
floor. Why should the Executive Vice-President of the company pick
up bathroom trash? Guess what? Since then I’ve been picking up
trash in the bathroom – even though that is not part of my job
description! What if we looked to Jesus as our example in life?
What wonderful changes might occur then? Maybe it would help us to
toss out some of the trash in our life and bring in some new
righteous habits. Let’s explore that idea by diving into our Bible
study about Jesus as our partner in life!