Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
— Galatians 6:2
In 1858, the Illinois State Legislature used an obscure statute to send Stephen A. Douglas to the U.S. Senate instead of the winner of the election, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was obviously devastated, and was asked by a sympathetic friend to put his feelings into words.
“I feel like the boy who stubbed his toe,” Lincoln remarked. “I’m too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh.”
Emotional pain can be crippling. And oftentimes, our first instinct is to suppress our emotions and go about our day as if nothing has happened. Then one day turns into another, until eventually that same pain has become suppressed for so long that it roots itself deeply into your mind and creates mistrust, bitterness, and ultimately, robs you of the joy God wants you to have.
The answer to emotional pain is to instead find an outlet for it. That doesn’t mean unleashing your emotions in a tirade of tears and anger. No, it means finding a healthy way to express your emotions, processing them with a trusted friend by opening up and allowing them to bear your burdens with you.
Don’t stuff your emotions. Let them out in a healthy way among people you trust. When you do, you’ll put yourself on the path to experiencing joy in all circumstances!
Pray that God would give you wisdom in letting your emotions go at the right time, place, and with the right people.
Questions for Thought
Why do you believe many people would rather stuff their emotions down than let them out in a healthy way?
What emotions are you processing today that you can let out so you can experience greater joy?