CrossReads Weekly Devotional: And All That Is Within Me…

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by Precarious Yates

Between Passover and Pentecost or Shavuot, Jews celebrate what they call the Sefirat HaOmer, or Days of Omer. These are 49 days of examining the soul. During this time, they examine 7 specific emotions within 7 types of emotions, or 49 separate emotions all together. Unlike other categorizations of emotion, and most cultures have categories of emotion, each of these 7 categories in the Sefirat HaOmer are not negative. Some of the specific emotions within the categories can be negative, but the categories themselves are not negative. Here is the list:

  • Loving kindness
  • Justice and discipline 
  • Harmony, compassion
  • Endurance 
  • Humility
  • Bonding
  • Sovereignty and leadership 

If you’re like me, my guess is that you had no idea things like endurance or justice could be categories of emotion. And you may be able to see already how there can be positive or negative emotions in all of these categories. Misguided desires for justice can bloom into quests for revenge. Unhealthy desires for bonding can lead us into codependent or abusive relationships. 

But there are positive emotions too. These positive emotions can be integral aspects to expressing righteousness, or righteous acts. They are not necessary to express righteous acts but do help motivate and remind us to be the hands and feet of Christ to others. At the same time, there are times we need to deny the negative emotions that hinder righteousness. 

Why is this important for devotion? 

The Psalms say this:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  – Psalm 103:1

We are to bless God and praise Him with our whole SOUL. The more we know what’s in our soul, the more we know what we’re really putting inside that gift box of praise and blessing to God. 

But the real question is this: should we do this all on our own?

The more we pray through the 49 emotions and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, the clearer understanding we have of what’s inside our soul. And He can transform any emotion from negative to positive, just as generating static electricity changes the ions in an atom. 

Here is a link to more information:

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/277116/jewish/Introduction.htm

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their one mastiff and four Pyrenees dogs, three sheep and nine chickens. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms and reading. She holds a masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

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