Monday, September 04, 2006

Spirituality & Human Emotion

My friend Greg lent me this book by Robert C. Roberts called "Spirituality And Human Emotion". It is a great book about the formation of the Christian character. This theme has been on my mind heaps lately.

According to Robert, Christianity is a set of emotions (whatever else it may be). He says, "If I don't love God and my neighbor, abhor my sins, and rejoice in my redemption, if I am not grateful, hopeful, and at peace with God and myself, then it follows that I am aliented from Christianity."

What is needed to overcome this alienation, says Robert, is "a reordering of our passions and attitudes such that we will have a use in our life for the beliefs of Christianity and the language of faith."

I agree with Robert. I believe that the Christian passions and attitudes fuel us to experience such emotions as gratitude, hope, and compassion - above all, the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) - rather than greed, despair, and anger etc.

Father God, please nurture in us Your passions, attitudes and positive emotions through the development of a deepening of our spirituality. In Jesus' name, Amen!


Radagast said...

Let me think about that one...

Is Christianity a set of emotions, or a set of beliefs, or a relationship with God?

The obvious danger in defining Christianity in emotional terms is that we all have "dry" periods where the emotions are missing. That doesn't mean we stop being Christians in those periods -- it means that in those periods we are Christians going through difficult times.

Radagast said...

... and thanks for always posting a thought-provoking blog entry!

Kitty Cheng said...

Radagast, I think Christianity is surely not just a set of emotions. Like you said, it can be a set of beliefs, and relationship with God (amongst other things perhaps). But I certainly believe that emotion and spirituality are very closely related.

I agree that we all have 'dry' and 'down' periods where positive emotions are missing (actually during those periods, negative ones always come into the surface don't they?). What you said is so true, when we don't have those emotions, it doesn't mean we are not Christians...but just ones who go through difficult times.

I also believe that the Fruit of the Spirit is present even in our 'dry' periods, if we walk with the Spirit.

Kitty Cheng said...

hehe I didn't set out to post thought-provoking entries, just sharing my heart :) But thanks for your encouragmenet.

audrey` said...

I agree with Radagast that our dear Kitty is very intelligent and wise. Her posts are very deep and thought-provoking :)
Well done sis!