"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." (Proverb 15:13)
There is, in the Body of Christ (the ENTIRE Church on earth at any given time), a belief that good emotions are great but that experiencing bad emotions is sinful. Allowing so-called bad emotions to be SEEN is considered to be even worse.
I believe this is error and that it’s dangerous.
To be sure, experiencing good emotions IS great. Everyone likes to feel joy, happiness, excitement, etc. When a person's heart is "merry" (joyful or full of joy) it "makes a cheerful countenance". This is another way of saying that one has a "happy face."
God built us so that when we are healthy our faces reflect what's happening in our hearts.
There is a time and place for having a "poker face" (for instance, when we are playing cards) but, generally, it is dishonest for us to hide our real feelings. I believe that it prevents our Christian brothers and sisters from knowing how to take care of us.
Yet, many of us have been trained by the systems of the world.....including the one that runs much of the institutional Church on the earth....to put on a "church face" and always act as if everything is great.
A "church face" is a disguise and a disguise is a lie.
In contrast, GOD tells us this:
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15)
How can we possibly do that and obey the Lord in this way if all our brothers and sisters have been indoctrinated to lie about what's happening in their hearts when they walk through the doors of a church building or, for that matter, into any meeting of the Body of Christ?
We can't.....and it delights the devil because it prevents us from being able to obey God in this way:
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
People who have been taught to lie about the condition of their hearts go home after worship feeling that no one has cared for them....and they haven’t been cared for because of the disguise the system taught them to wear.
This is hurtful...and, therefore, is sin.
What happens when people systematically hide their pain at the VERY place God designed for them to receive comfort and healing: gatherings of the Body of Christ?
"by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." (Proverb 15:13b)
That word "sorrow" means "wounds" and the rest of the sentence refers to how a person's human spirit can be broken when those wounds are never addressed.
People whose wounds are not ever addressed at gatherings of the Body of Christ (whether it be in church buildings or in homes or at the office or in a restaurant) tend to fall away from the Body of Christ.
Many of these remain adrift the rest of their lives, separated from their brothers and sisters in Christ and vulnerable to whatever satan wants to put into their heads.
This GRIEVES the Father and I’m willing to bet THAT shows on HIS face.
Praise God that He wants hearts to be healed!
Praise God for those Christians who are honest about the state of their hearts!
Praise God for those Christians who have been gifted by Him to perceive the brokenness of another's spirit and who have the boldness and LOVE to reach out address it.
Praise God for those who are humble enough and hungry enough to be healed to allow a brother or sister to minister to them.
Praise God for places that let all this happen.
Let us resolve to participate in this process and promote the healing of souls and spirits so we can effectively war in this spiritual battle all around us.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
May we allow HIM to comfort others through us and may we allow HIM to comfort us through others we can trust.