Depending on the context in which you grew up, you may have learned emotions were feelings to be fully embraced and broadcasted to the world or suppressed and denied. But are either of those approaches aligned with the vision set forth in the Bible? A new podcast from The Austin Stone Institute and The Austin Stone Counseling Center considers that question. Called More to It: Reframing Emotions, the podcast guides listeners toward engaging emotions from a biblical foundation and through healthy habits.
Throughout the podcast’s 12 episodes, the host (Austin Stone Institute) and guests (three counselors from The Austin Stone Counseling Center) regularly remind listeners that emotions— even ones like shame and jealousy—are normal. And yet, we don’t have to be ruled by those emotions, either by acting upon them without question or pretending they don’t exist. A better way, a biblical way forward is available.
The counselors continually invite listeners to reframe how they think about and experience emotions. Emotions, they say, are echoes of Eden in our hearts. Emotions, perhaps especially the ones we view as negative, tell us not all is well or right within us or this world we inhabit. They serve as indicators, informing us how we are interpreting reality. And they simultaneously act as invitations—asking us to lean upon God and His ways rather than ours and to share our emotions with our community.
Our emotions, in and of themselves, are not sinful. We need to sit with God and sit with one another as we learn to navigate our emotions in ways that honor God, each other, and ourselves. If we choose that option, we will be challenged. But we will also discover the joy of living by what God says is true, good, and beautiful.
Along with the podcast, The Austin Stone Institute and The Austin Stone Counseling Center have crafted supplementary resources. One is a guide for going deeper, and it is meant to be used within community groups. Another is liturgy, or worshipful prayer. Each podcast episode ends with a liturgy related to the episode’s topic. It’s also included in the guide so that listeners can contemplate upon and speak the words for themselves.
The hope for the podcast resides in spiritual maturity. By engaging our emotions from a biblical foundation and through healthy habits, we grow in love for and obedience to Christ. Our emotions become opportunities to examine our hearts and to ask God to reveal any grievous way in us so that we might walk in the way everlasting (Psalm 139).
Mark your calendars for June 14 and plan to listen to each episode, which will air every Tuesday throughout the summer. Learn more and follow the podcast here.