“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Rom. 12:15)
Everyone enjoys the feeling you get when you leave a church service on an emotional high. The atmosphere was exciting, the music was stirring. and the preaching was powerful.
While there is nothing wrong with having your emotions stirred, we must be careful that we don’t SEEK that emotional high every time we go to church. When you live on emotional experiences, it becomes difficult to access those same feelings all the time.
Therefore, it is dangerous to seek an emotional experience. That should not be our goal. Don’t go to church seeking an emotion, go seeking God. Then, let Him give you the emotions you should have.
Danger #1: IT PRODUCES A SHALLOW FAITH
Seeking an emotional experience is like trying to get a nutritional meal with a steady diet of Cotton Candy. Some can shout loud and jump high in an emotional service, but the first trial they encounter outside of the church knocks them down. Why? Because they were living on an experience and not by faith in God’s Word.
Danger #2: IT LEADS TO EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION
Emotional manipulation happens when pastors or evangelists regularly try to recreate a particular experience or produce certain emotions in order to get certain results. It is seeking to recreate that “spiritual high” or “mountain-top experience” that is often associated with teen camp, revivals, camp meetings, and altar calls. Those of us who are pastors and evangelists can be tempted in this.
Understand…there is NOTHING wrong with feeling good when God is moving. There is NOTHING wrong with shouting it out during a service. There is NOTHING wrong with crying and getting emotional over what God is doing. I like it!
But here’s the danger…many people want the “experience” of “feeling” the presence of God without having the actual relationship (walking daily) with God.
The danger in constantly seeking an emotional high is that you will follow a MAN, not the MESSAGE. I have heard people say, “I just don’t get anything from church unless (INSERT NAME) is preaching.” The problem was, that person was going to hear from God’s man more than to hear from God’s Word. They were following a personality.
Please understand that I am NOT in any way criticizing those of us who get emotional during a church service. I don’t like dead services. I want them to be lively. I am just saying that it can be dangerous when the emotional “feeling” is what a person seeks instead of seeking God.
Seek God, first, then let HIM give you the emotions you should feel.