What does feeling negative emotions have to do with sexual purity?

The following is an except from Brad Hambrick.  Hambrick serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in  Durham, NC. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.

“What if your ‘accountability partner’ to whom you reported sin and temptation was also an ‘authenticity partner’ to whom you honestly confided your insecurities, disappointments, and weaknesses? Would your temptation change? If you were authentic and vulnerable about unpleasant emotions early in the temptations cycle would the temptation be less intense.”

“What if during an unpleasant moment, instead of trying to escape, you asked yourself, ‘What am I really feeling?’ and then knew someone who cared enough to listen.”

Let’s take another step. What if after identifying the emotion and sharing it with a trusted friend you asked, ‘How can this experience help me grow or care for somebody else?’ Think about it, unpleasant emotions are incredibly useful:

  • Sharing our grief helps others feel less alone in their grief.
  • Accepting our weaknesses without shame is what removes many social stigmas.
  • Acknowledging our failures is what allows for forgiveness and relational restoration.
  • Seeing others suffer well infuses us with courage and motivates us to face our challenges differently.

We serve a God who is not negative emotion averse. Our God is redemptive. Whatever shame we feel is either false shame or guilt derived from how we tried to escape from our unpleasant emotions; not because we have them.”

Click to read the entire article, Negative Emotion Tolerance in the Pursuit of Sexual Purity