Try coming up with a list of all things unstable and unpredictable and you’ll find yourself holding a looooong one. If we’d compare lists though, I think we’ll all find “our emotions” somewhere on top.
In one of my conversations with a student, we talked about how it’s easy for us to like someone we get to interface/work with in ministry. Proximity leads to familiarity which can lead to fondness which can lead to liking. And the last one is what makes our emotions go berserk.
The conversation went on with us discussing two things:
- Acknowledge your emotions. When Jesus saved us, He did not expect us to be totally stripped off of our humanity. And our emotions are part of our humanity. We need to understand though that it is not our emotions that lead us to do the unwise, or worse, to commit sin. It is our response to our emotions that makes all the difference. Acknowledging our emotions means we are pointing out exactly what it is that we can lay down at the foot of the Cross, surrendering it to the One who is able to give us the grace to move in the most appropriate, God-honoring way. At the end of the day, we don’t bow down to our emotions. We make our emotions bow down to the lordship of Jesus.
- Acknowledge that your emotions are not stable. AT ALL. Try to make a mental count of all the people you’ve come to like until today. While you’re at it, also try to recall how you were so sold out at the time that that person is really, really, really “the one.” (Side note: Writing that just reminded me of a comment a friend told another friend in one of our barkada conversations. He said, “Bro, pang-ilang ‘the one” mo na yan.’“) If you did just that, then you would have already counted how many times your emotions have failed you. The heart is deceitful, the Bible says.
So, how exactly would you know if the person is “the one”? He or she is simply the person who would show up on your wedding day – the one you’ll exchange rings and vows with, the one you’d get to go home with after the event is over. Until then, it could be anyone.
I write this not so you can go about each day trying to spot potentials. I write this to echo what one of my mentors said a few years back: “The sign that says he or she is the one would be the ring on your finger and a piece of paper that has ‘Marriage Certificate’ as its heading.”
One of my friends was just telling me how he knew for certain that the woman he is pursuing right now is the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He got a “no” from the same woman the first time he tried. Ten years later, he tries again, for the same reasons he had ten years ago.
This is not to say we all have to wait this long to validate our emotions. This is to say that we are not losing time when we wait for our emotions to mature. This is to say that we take time to consider what we feel and consider how God feels about what we feel so we can respond in a way that aligns to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
If “our emotions” would be on top of our all-things-unstable-and-unpredictable list, then I believe it’s only fitting that we go for something that withstands the test of time and circumstance. Our waiting time is not wasted time. What should be will come to pass. Just you wait!