Borrowed Truths

Intellectual Emotions

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Intellectual Emotions

The intellect or the emotions, which one is of greater service to our Lord? Our emotions, if not carefully approached, can and many times do lead us astray, while our intellectual capabilities can at times become completely emotionless.

The fine balance must be sought in the life of the born-again believer, too much of either one and we will be easily led off the path of humble service to the Lord. Too much intellect without the flavor of our emotions and we will become pragmatic, unable to see and help those who are in pain and suffering and will become as a busy medical surgeon must be, emotionally distanced from his many patients. Too much emotion-based context in our lives and those same hurting people will become enabled by us, we will not stop giving, even when it is no longer necessary. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27)

Both the emotions and the intellect, the one will render you useless because of a lack of Spiritual discernment, the other is the door that invites pride into our hearts. In relation to our salvation, the intellect can see truth, decipher it as such, but still not accept it, for there is no viable, visible proof of salvation outside of our works that the Holy Spirit produces within us, and those by the intellectually endowed individual can easily be falsified. But the emotion-based ideology of one’s salvation can be just as easily deceivable. A “good feeling” is not the assurance of salvation.

Here is where works-based faith begins to lay hold on the individual, they are commanded, and so the intellect says they must be done, thereby assuring them of a right relationship with the Lord, yet “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1) The emotion-based person will feel just as assured of their salvation if they receive some positive emotion from those works, if that is missing, then to them, their salvation is in question. The intellectual person who serves without the emotion of love involved is just as wrong as the emotion-based individual who will not use Spiritual discernment before they act.

The emotions within us long after a right relationship with the Lord Jesus, the intellectual part of us understands that the action of love is the only expression of that love, one must possess both, and control them with the same intensity, keeping our bodies under subjection. One must consider this verse in the Scriptures at this point, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Why? He knew that in a few moments Lazarus would be alive on this earth again, and so His intellectual prowess needed to express nothing but the action of calling Lazarus back from the dead. Yet He wept. The emotions of the people around Him, their incredible grief and sorrow prompted the tears from His eyes. He hurt inside because they hurt inside. He was bearing their burden with them, (Gal. 6:2) just as much as He has been tempted just like you have. (Heb. 4:15)

How the eternal anticipated that moment I do not know, He knew as He was walking to where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived that He was going to cry when He got there, He intellectually understood this to be the truth, and yet He still succumbed, for lack of a better word, to that brief emotional outbreak.

We need both, we need to be able to express every emotion that we have, but at the same time keep them under control, not being controlled by them. And we need our intellectual capabilities, we must be able in wisdom to contemplate the Most High, to use deductive reasoning skills in our contemplation of Him, but always in love. In doing so, these two great blessings will open doors for us that will enable us to glorify the Lord even greater, and we will begin to understand what it means to be Christlike.

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