Exploring Philippians | Feelings | Philippians 1.7-8 | Movementministriesblog.com 

by | Apr 25, 2022

“It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1.7-8  

I don’t know about you but I often get wrapped up in my emotions. I mean, sometimes they get the best of me. I get carried away by how I feel, what I want, how I respond to circumstances or situations. Sometimes I seem to lose control of my emotions and other times I act with maturity. I’m still learning and developing even at my age that our emotions don’t control us! (I’m also currently enjoying reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman which is so good.)

Paul gets ”emotional” in this these passages. He’s writing to people he loves, who he’s been with for some time in ministry. He’s been through a lot. In these verses he mentions being in chains and defending and confirming the Gospel. We can read about his experiences in other letters and how his life since meeting Christ has been very ”emotional.” Lots has happened to Paul including being beaten and put in prison.

But in this instance, Paul admits that ”its right for me to FEEL (emphasis added) about all of you.” These are good emotions. He loves this congregation of Christ followers. He says, ”I have you in my heart” and they ”share in God’s grace” with him. Paul is conveying deep sentiments of love, care and affection for these believers who have commonality in the gospel. Lastly, he writes, ”God can testify how I LONG (emphasis added) for all of you with the AFFECTION (emphasis added) if Christ Jesus.” These are people Paul cares about deeply and intentionally.

I too have people in my life that I feel similarly about. My wife, my kids, family, close friends, brothers with whom I have been in ministry and battled for in prayer and worship. My experiences are certainly different than Paul’s but emotionally and spiritually speaking, they are comparable to me. I love my family, for example, and care for them, and I want them to know and experience the goodness and grace of God.

Not all emotions are bad. Emotions that are set on fire by a desire to know and love God are good. We are emotional people but we must check the range with which our emotions flare up and get out of control. Daniel Goleman refers to striving for balance not suppression of our emotions. The fruit of the Spirit are healthy emotions which Paul suggests no limit (See Galatians 5.22-24). But the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit are works of the flesh. I found a great comparison of these in a chart in this link. (https://www.biblebc.com/Studies/Fruit_of_Spirit/fruit_of_the_spirit_contrasted.htm.)

We are emotional creatures and what we feel matters. We can share our feelings freely in healthy ways but must be on our guard against the feelings of lust, pride, selfishness, etc., that lead to sin and pull us off mission and away from the Lord.

Paul’s introduction is an expression and example of a wonderful example of love for other Christians who are working together in making disciples and fulfilling God’s Kingdom.

How do your emotions bring God glory and help advance the gospel of Jesus Christ?

“O Lord God, you are good. I confess I get too emotional at times. I allow my mind to be undisciplined which leads me into sin. Help me put on the mind of Christ, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and become more like you. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen