Mind, Emotions, and Will

As I have grown in my journey with Christ, I have encountered many schools of thought. In the world of academia, I was taught that my journey with Christ was to be one that strictly engaged the intellect. This is most definitely foundational as my understanding of God should be biblically accurate, but the Christian life cannot strictly be cerebral. Another train of thought teaches that, based on Acts 4, the disciples were ignorant men who walked with Jesus thus encouraging us to be ignorant and totally be emotional (often accused as being led by the Spirit). Then a third train of thought says that the Christian life is a strictly a decision of the will in which we choose to turn over a new leaf and obey a bunch of commandments of do’s and don’ts. All three are dangerous in and of themselves.

The Christian life must be rooted in the teaching of God’s Word (engaging the mind), moving to our emotions, and motivating to our will. Cults are born from a lack of balance.

My Christian journey has developed over time into a blend of mind, emotion, and will. Those who lift their hands and are outwardly expressive in worship are accused of being strictly emotional. For me, this is a response that is motivated by a doctrinal truth either preached, testified, or sung. I can’t help but respond emotionally when I sing songs like “Good, Good Father” or hear someone preach of the blessings I have in Christ. This engages the will because I allow myself to respond outwardly and ignore what everyone around me is thinking. My worship is to an Audience of One.

This post was provoked by a video of the worship team from The Summit Church in Durham, NC singing “Worthy of Your Name”. It is one of my new favorite worship songs. If you are familiar with this ministry, you know that Pastor JD Greear is rock solid. This is not a hyper-emotional congregation. In this particular worship setting, this congregation got excited. You will hear shouting and enthusiasm. If you pay close attention to the lyrics, you might toss aside your “dignity” and let loose. I hope the message of this song sets your soul on fire while you engage your mind, emotions, and will.

8 thoughts on “Mind, Emotions, and Will

  1. I liked it when you said – “The Christian life must be rooted in the teaching of Godโ€™s Word (engaging the mind), moving to our emotions, and motivating to our will” – Amen dude. We are not robots and we are called to be in relationship.

    Thanks for sharing Matthew

  2. You said, “My Christian journey has developed over time into a blend of mind, emotion, and will.” Mine too. No matter how unbalanced we may become at times, I believe God will bring us back if we stay open and obedient to Him. Awesome song, I had not heard it before!

    1. I visited there frequently toward the end of my pastorate in Bladen County, NC. Although it is multi-site, JD is available after the service. He prayed with me as I was facing divorce and the uncertainty of future ministry. I know his parents from my time in Winston-Salem. The Summit is most definitely impacting their community, the nation, and the world.

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