Eight Families of Emotions


God created humans to feel a wide range of emotions. Researchers have classified them into:

Eight families of emotions:
Anger (fury, hostility, irritability, annoyance)
Sadness (grief, self-pity, despair, dejection, loneliness)
Fear (anxiety, edginess, nervousness, fright, terror, apprehension)
Enjoyment (joy, relief, contentment, delight, thrill, euphoria, ecstasy)
Love (acceptance, trust, devotion, adoration)
Surprise (shock, amazement, wonder)
Disgust (contempt, scorn, aversion, distaste, revulsion)
Shame (guilt, remorse, humiliation, embarrassment, chagrin)

These emotions are normal. In order to be emotionally and spiritually healthy, we must be willing to feel and process these emotions—not deny them. God created us as emotional beings. He has emotions too!
In the Bible we are told of God’s delight, regret, jealousy, anger, love, compassion, sorrow, joy… and more. We are created in his image.

You’re not going to have a spiritual breakthrough if you’re in denial or pretending; if you’re shutting down your humanity all the time since you’ve convinced yourself it’s not okay to have these feelings.
Allow yourself to feel! Allow yourself to feel the full weight of your emotions so that you can mature emotionally and spiritually. This is an important part of embracing your true identity.

A couple ways to do this include:
Paying attention to your emotions through silence and solitude. As a part of your devotions, consider taking time to be quiet before God and reflect on your emotions. To feel the full weight of them and to process them with God. Consider writing about it in a journal. A record that you can refer back to and see how God has been speaking truth to you. King David journaled and processed his emotions with God—the highest highs and the lowest lows. And we have some of those journal entries to learn from in the Psalms.
It is also valuable to process some of your emotions with trusted friends. What makes you angry, sad, afraid? What makes you excited, joyful, grateful? Screw up your courage and talk about your emotions with trusted friends.

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