At times of football world championships after the end of a match you often see the fans of the winning team drive around in their cars waving their flags and blowing their horns. Some people who might be calm and quiet in ordinary life hop and dance through the streets rejoicing with loud voices. At football and at many other sports events as well it is not only permitted but it is recommended to openly show sentiments.
Back in the office we keep reserved and stiff and in good manners. Or can you imagine jumping up and rejoicing aloud when you have a success in your office? Well, why not?
How should we handle our feelings at all? When and where may we show them openly, and when and where should we rather not do so?
In every single moment of life every human being is feeling something. Depending on the actual situation these feelings may be more or less intensive.
It also depends on the personal attitude, education, as well as the actual situation that we are in, whether or not we may publicly show these feelings. In a way feelings are something very intimate. Is it advisable to share these intimate feelings with other people?
In the days before Jesus had been executed, he had many very personal discussions with his closest disciples. Among other things he also said the following:
And ye therefore now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh away from you. (John 16,22)
For sure depending on the actual temper each of the disciples reacted in a different way after hearing these words. From certain other passages that are being reported to us in the Gospels we know that Peter had be a very impulsive person. Other disciples might have been very calm and hardly said anything at all.
Jesus accepted each of them in his very special way and with his very personal attitudes. In the same way Jesus also loves every single one of us today. All that He wants is, that we in return love him, too.
The more intimate our contact is with another person, the more open will we show our feelings when we are in his or her company. Towards God we never need to keep control over ourselves. In His presence we may always and at any time openly show what we feel.
It is the same case when we are in church or when we attend a church service. Here, too, we need not hide our feelings. Of course, we are treating each other with respect. Yet if a person at a certain moments feels like shouting out "Hallelujah", he may very well do so. The one or the other might look at him a bit irritated, but that does not matter. We may behave like that.
Most important is that we are honest. God knows us anyhow, so it would not make sense at all to wear any kind of "holy" mask. Nobody has to join in singing when he does not feel like doing so.
This is one of the wonderful aspects in a congregation. God accepts us precisely the way we are. And the members of a congregation should practise doing this as well. For sure in the case of a certain person this might seem difficult or in the case of another it might be especially easy. But it definitely is worth it trying to practise accepting other people as they are. After all God loves the other person just as He loves me.
A person who never shows what he feels, who always keeps everything for himself might easily get in danger of falling seriously mentally ill. Apart from that it really is hard work always to carry a mask around.
In our jobs, at school or at certain occasions in society it may at times be recommended to remain cool without showing any sentiments. This we should do out of respect for our fellow citizens. Nevertheless we can be honest. We shall not be hypocrites. An honest, open person will in general be accepted by his surrounding in a positive way. The others will treat him nicely and will not reject him. God hates lies, and he also does not want so called emergency lies due to politeness or whatever the excuse might be. Have a try and always meet other people in a friendly, polite and open way.
Well, and in case of sports events or other occasions where it is recommended and accepted there let your feelings go. Trust in God when doing this, and you will experience a great rise in your quality of life. God loves you. This alone already is a good reason to be happy.
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. (Psalm 5,11)