I Get So Emotional, Baby
If the subject line made you hear Whitney Houston's voice in your head, you're welcome.
If it made you hear the cast of Glee, you're younger than me.
I don't hold that against you; I just know which one's better.
But the real reason I've chosen these lyrics as the subject to this email is because I want to stress the importance of your emotional life.
At first, it may not seem like a church thing or a Bible thing or a Jesus thing (which I dedicate most of my work to), but the relationship between your spiritual innovation and your emotional world could not be closer. See...
You cannot become spiritually mature without also becoming emotionally mature.
(I credit this concept to the great work of New York pastor Peter Scazzero and his book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality)
I want to invite you to a little though exercise that my friends and I stumbled into last week while we processed through these concepts together.
In one of Paul's letters to a church, he listed
as "flavors" of the fruit (singular) God's Spirit produces in your life.
Anybody can excel in a few of these.
Your personality gives you something to work with.
Maybe you're a naturally patient person.
Maybe you're faithful/loyal to a fault.
On top of your natural proclivities, discipline, therapy and the feedback you get from healthy relationships might grow a few other qualities as you mature.
But it's clear that God's Spirit increasingly produces all of them together. Wow.
Love that's motivated by goodness.
Kindness that's regulated by self-control.
Peace that's created with gentleness.
You may not be sure if you believe in God, but I think we'd all agree that the world would improve if it got to taste more of this fruit.
So, here's how my friends and I started to imagine where God might take us as we mature. I invite you to pause and consider the same.
Name 1 or 2 of these "flavors" that you seem to produce naturally.
Name 1 or 2 that, if you're honest, you seldom exercise naturally.
Now, start to envision what your most natural quality may look like with more of your least natural quality.
If you dare, start praying that God would make this vision more and more true of you in the next few weeks.
If you want to learn more of what I'm talking about, I've created a series of teachings on these subjects. You can get them for free, on-demand on Radius' YouTube Channel. The series is called "The Whole Soul".