his death on January 16, 1986, Herbert W.
Armstrong approved this 'Personal" and his article beginning on
page 3, and had all the other copy for this issue of the Good News
personalty read to him.
Do you feel deeply about things or circumstances that are moving or important?
Did you ever check your emotional responses.To know whether you have emotional maturity and stability?
Most people give little or no thought to this matter of their emotions. We humans start life as little babies.
have to grow up. But to fulfill life's real purpose and mission,
we must grow up not only physically, but mentally, spiritually and
Did you ever stop to realize how many people think
primarily only of attaining physical maturity? If it were not for
compulsory public school education for children in our Western world,
how many would take the initiative to develop their minds? How many, in
each hundred, have done so in some other nations, for example?
what about spiritual development. The average person the world around
automatically accepts the established religion of his parents and his
country. Why are most Chinese Buddhists or Confucians? Why do most
people of India follow the Hindu religion? Why do most of the Japanese
embrace Shintoism or Buddhism? Why do most Arab peoples follow the
Moslem religion most Jews follow Judaism — most Italians. Spaniards and
French, as well as South Americans, embrace Roman Catholicism — a
majority of Britons and Americans call themselves Protestant
How many give any real thought to why they believe the religious ideas they hold sacred?
many of these hundreds of millions of people
ever give serious thought to spiritual growth? Yet no person attains
true maturity unless he attains spiritual maturity, as well as physical
But fewer still ever give so much as a passing thought to the need for emotional development.
what do we mean emotional maturity? Few know the meaning of the term.
Do you? Yet it is one of the real secrets of human happiness. But if no
one is truly grown-up — really mature until he attains, not
only physical, mental and spiritual adulthood, but emotional
maturity as well, where will you find it taught?
know any school or college that offers a course in
"Emotional Development? It most certainly is something
we need to be taught, few will ever teach it to themselves.
one is born with it. It must be learned developed. We need,
continually, to realize that we are born as helpless little babes,
knowing nothing at birth. We do not come equipped with instinct, like
the dumb animals.
Ever see a little calf born? The
mother cow doesn't go to a hospital to have her young
delivered.by an obstetrical physician, attended by white capped and
gowned nurses. She has no delivery table. No one helps her.The little
calf comes into the world by an instinctive natural process. Almost
immediately it struggles to its feet. It finds its legs a little wobbly
but in a few minutes it stands on all four. No one teaches it to walk
and it doesn't have to wait a year to learn. It starts walking at once.
No one teaches it where to go — it knows! It has instinct built
automatically into its brain It goes after its dinner. No one tells it
or teaches it where the dinner is located. The mother cow simply stands
stupidly by, waiting for the calf to find its dinner.
human knows that much. Yet the human infant has something the dumb
animals do not possess — human mind. Humans, however, have to grow up.
They have to learn to
And one of the basic things every human needs so
vitally to learn is the right use of the human emotions. So you see,
the human mind has something vital to do with human emotions. Yet most
people never give thought to controlling emotions with the mind!
But our emotions need to be understood, taught., trained and controlled by the mind!
Our minds were given us for a purpose.
is the logical and proper place to begin such training? It ought to be
taught to 1-3 and 6 year olds and in the early primary grades in
school That means this teaching ought first to be taught by parents in
the home. But how can parents teach children when they themselves are
still emotionally immature? How can schoolteachers disseminate what
they have never learned themselves?
Just what is emotional
maturity? One author defines it this way: development from a state
of taking to a state of giving and sharing. There's also a spiritual
principle involved - development from natural impulses
and responses of human nature, to the principle of loving one's
neighbor as oneself, few realize it's a recipe for happiness. It is
something that must be learned by the mind — and developed by
self-discipline. As I said, it's something you were not born with.
Human nature is totally contrary to it.
God's law is based on
the giving principle, its basis is love, and love is outgoing concern.
Human nature is a magnet — a pull — in the direction of self But the
way of God's law, which is the way to peace, happiness and
everything good - ah, that is a way humans must be taught. Giving,
sharing, serving, helping have to be learned.
But humans are
equipped with emotions. And, from babyhood, all humans are actuated
more or less by their emotions. Emotions are feelings
disturbances — departures from a calm state of rational
right thinking and acting. Emotion is an impulse toward action or
expression of feeling, unapproved — unless taught
and controlled otherwise by the mind. Among the emotions
are such feelings or expressions as fear, anger, resentment, jealousy.
hatred, grief, sorrow, surprise, desire, elation, joy.
have a first cousin our moods. The emotionally immature
usually are moody, and have not learned
to control their moods.
More and more I am impressed with a most
important truth we humans are prone to overlook. While animals are
guided by instinct into the course intended for them by the Creator,
man is given powers and potentialities infinitely higher. The spirit in
man imparts to the brain the powers of the human mind an intellectual
and even spiritual quality.
Dumb brutes cannot appreciate a
Gainsborough, a Rembrandt or a Goya painting, a Beethoven sonata or a
Schumann concerto or the literature of great authors. They cannot
acquire scientific knowledge, weigh facts, make decisions, render
judgments, exercise self-discipline, develop character. They
attain access in and union with Almighty God, become begotten of Him as
His very child, enjoy actual communion with the eternal Creator,
have their minds opened and enlightened by His Spirit, come to
comprehend spiritual truths and, finally, become born as a son of God
in His very divine Family!
Man was put on earth to develop and attain to something infinitely higher than animal destiny. Man was
to develop spiritual character — to become like the supreme God. This
all comes through the marvelous human mind. One comes to knowledge
of God through the mind. One realizes sin and repents of it in the
mind! God's Spirit entering is the Spirit of a sound mind!
only spiritual development, but also emotional maturity, is
developed through the mind It comes by right knowledge,
creative thinking, right decisions, the use of
will, self-discipline. To rightly direct his actions is man's
purpose in life.
Yet most people seem to assume humans to be merely the highest of the dumb brutes!
fail utterly to comprehend the magnitude of human potentiality! They
allow themselves to act thoughtlessly on impulse, with feelings, moods,
emotions being swayed and buffeted into troubles, tragedies and
sufferings through irrational actions.
I once knew a tragic example. It was a man highly educated, a teacher who readily assumed the
of teaching youths when he himself had never learned this
Central truth of life. His mind was
stored with knowledge about
things geology, astronomy, mathematics, literature but he
had acquired little knowledge about himself: his moods, feelings, drives, impulses, desires.
a child he had been pampered, petted and spoiled, permitted to have his
own way. He had not been taught self-restraint, self control or how
intelligently to divert his moods and desires, and guide them according
He was married to a beautiful and intelligent wife,
had a fine family, an honored position. But when he allowed feelings,
impulses and moods to lead his actions instead of sound judgment and
wisdom of mind, his home was broken by divorce, and in the grip of his
moods and tendency to run from his problems instead of facing and
solving them, he fled in blind fear from his high position and
brilliant future. He wrecked not only his own happiness, but his
marriage and his home, and he forced great sorrow, suffering and
unhappiness on many others.
He had allowed his emotions and
moods, instead of his mind, to lead his actions, He had come to see
circumstances through the eyes of his feelings, and his understanding
had become warped and distorted. He had grown up physically. He had
developed mentally. But emotionally he was still a very young child —
and, as sad accompaniment, his spiritual age was no older.
is not really mature until emotionally and spiritually grown-up, as
well as physically and mentally. Parents should realize it is their
responsibility to study their own children teach them right direction
find control over tempers, impulses, feelings, angers, moods. Teach
restraint of selfishness and vanity, Teach love and outgoing concern for
others. Teach giving instead of taking.
But emotional maturity
does not mean emotionless maturity, The truly emotionally mature
control the emotions, They do not anesthetize them! They do express, at
the right time, and in proper degree, enthusiasm, happiness, joy. They
do feel deep gratitude for blessings and also they deeply feel
reverence, adoration, in the worship of God. They sincerely feel
compassion toward others — a feeling of true outgoing concern. They
express sympathy and have mercy.
does not crucify emotions — it controls and guides them with
right knowledge and true wisdom. Emotional maturity develops hand in
hand with physical, mental and spiritual
growth the four
blending, finally, into the perfect spiritual character that is the
true human destiny and the very purpose of life, it can bring very
great and rewarding and lasting happiness.
Now, finally, let me
describe The three categories into which people generally, and
thoughtlessly, fall. And then let us see a few examples of the correct
use of the emotions.
First, many, especially those of lesser
education, let themselves go to an emotional extreme. They are mere
babes emotionally, It never occurs to them to put any check or Control
on their emotions. They become highly emotional over inconsequential
things. If these people drove their automobiles as they
fail to guide their emotions, their cars would run wild and create disaster.
feelings are worn on their shirt cuffs. They are upset over trifles.
Their tempers fly, uncontrolled. They flatter, they gush, they
exaggerate their compliments and their praise of others. They gossip,
they slander, they speak evil of others behind their backs. They
continually feel jealousy, resentment or excessive jubilation.
religious sects deliberately attract the overly
emotional, In religious meetings their
preachers work on the emotions of their
congregations, encouraging uncontrolled
outbursts of emotional response. They
"work it up" — they generate increasingly energetic and noisy displays
of out-of-control emotion. But Jesus Christ set no such example. Nor
did any of Christ's own original apostles.
Then there are those
who go to the Opposite extreme. Often these are the intellectuals and
the highly educated — though usually mis-educated. They have con trolled
emotions with their minds
to the extent that their emotions have
been stifled and put to death. They no longer feel deeply about
anything. They are utterly devoid of real sincerity, any depth of
gratitude, any feeling of compassion or real sympathy. Their emotions
never grew up to maturity — their emotions died in infancy.
there is the middle ground, equally unprofitable and tragic These are
those who neither choke off their emotions with mental control nor
exert energy generating them They are just listless — indifferent. They
feel no purpose in life. They have no ambition. They have no spark.
They do not radiate they are like dead fish, In an introduction to
another, they extend a cold, clammy hand with no grip whatever. They
merely let you grip their hand — and it's like taking hold of a damp,
dead fish. They have no personality. They are nonentities. There isn't
enough life in them to generate any noticeable emotional response.
Which of these three are you'? If you are any one of them, you are wrong.
look at some right examples! Where will you go to find the right
teaching on emotional response? You'll find it where you find the true
ways of life — in God's Word to man!
The Bible teaches us that our relationship with God must completely dominate our lives until it simply is
our life! It teaches us to feel deeply, though always intelligently, about it.
at God's instruction through Joel. A tremendous worldwide time of
trouble is now
as the world has never experienced before, Joel
prophesied the coming famine and disease
epidemics. He foretold the plagues of the "Day of the Lord." He
foretold the next, and nuclear, all-out world war — the most frightful,
trouble ever to be experienced by man.
Then God inspired Joel to
instruct us how to escape and find protection. Does He say we should go
through some routine motions, repeat by rote some prayer already
written tor us, which we recite without feeling or emotion? No, never!
is what He says: "'Now, therefore, says the Lord, 'Turn to me with all
your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning'
So rend your heart and not your garments;
return to the
Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of
great kindness . .. Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep ...
let them say, "Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage
to reproach, that the nations should
rule over them. . . .
The Lord will
answer" (Joel 2:12- 19).
God says we should turn to Him in dead
rending our hearts in deepest real feeling. This is no thoughtless
giving way to uncontrolled emotion. This is full mental realization of
purpose -- of need and, with deepest intense feeling, seeking God with
all our strength and might.
In correcting Israel for their manner of
indifferent prayers . God says of Israel, "They never put their heart
into their prayers" (Hosea 7:14, Moffatt).
at some of the
sample prayers quoted for us as examples in the Bible. Notice David's
prayer of repentance, when he "came to himself after his sin of
adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. It is in the
51st Psalm. Notice how David, in dead earnest, put his
whole heart into this prayer — with deep feeling of remorse and
cried out: "Have mercy upon me., O God, according to Your
loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse
me from my sin For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever
before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in
Your sight , . . Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. wash me,
and I shall be white thas snow. Make, me to hear joy and gladness, that
the bones which You have broken may rejoice Hide Your face from my
sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O
God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from
Your presence, and do not
take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your
salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach
transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be con verted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation .. . O
Lord, open my lips, nnd my mouth shrill show forth Your praise. . . .
The sacrifices of God arc a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite
heart — these, O God, You will not despise."
prayers. He was in intense, dead earnest. His was no light, casual,
routine prayer. He put his whole heart into it. Daniel says: "Then I
set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and
with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God.
and made conies sion. and said, 'O Lord, great and awesome God ... we
have sinned and committed Iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled,
even by departing from Your precepts and Your
belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day.' ' In this
deeply earnest prayer Daniel continued on,
beseeching God with his
wholeheart I Daniel 9:3-19).
you imagine these men of God praying in this manner dry eyed? 1 can't.
Surely tears were streaming down their faces. These were intense
prayers — prayers of surrendered, yielded men to the great God!
has graciously granted, by astonishing miracles,
many answers to my prayers. But never have I received an answer
from God except when I prayed earnestly from the heart. Yet do not most
people pray casually, perhaps as a matter of duty, and without feeling
or emotion? Perhaps this makes plain the reason most people have never
received an answer to their prayers. Jesus gave us an example of two
men praying the one a respected Pharisee, the other a hated tax
collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed, without emotion or feeling,
in his own self es teem and vanity: "God, I thank You that I am not
like other men extortioners, unjust. adulterers. or even as this tax
collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess "
other, pounding his breast in earnest, heartrending, deep-feeling
remorse and repentance, choked with emotion, could only say, amid his
tears, "God be mer ciful to me a sinner!"
Of this latter, Jesus
said, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified lather
than the other' — the self-exalting Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14).
Christ is our example. Can you comprehend what extreme, deep feeling
Jesus experienced when He looked out over the city of Jerusalem,
whose deceived, erring, wrong doing people He loved, and cried out, "O
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those
who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not
willing!" (Matthew 23:37).
was emotion expressed. But it was intelligent expression of feeling -
not unthinking, un-guided sensual impulse. It was filled with deep
Of course Jesus had the divine power; He could have
gathered the people of Jerusalem to Him by force! But. had He brought
them to Him by force, His whole purpose of character-building by free
choice and free moral agency would have been defeated — so He willed
that they, themselves, should make their own decisions. And He was
grieved through His whole being that they rejected truth and happiness
and salvation and eternal life, and chose curses and Suffering and
Should we ever feel deeply about things? We certainly
should. Jesus did! Just before the Judas-led murdering mob came to lead
Him to trial and death, Jesus went apart from His disciples and prayed:
"And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly, And His sweat became
like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44).
we do learn to live by "every word of God" - by God's
instruction Book - we will learn to guide emotions intelligently — but
we shall not suppress them, neither let them run rampant and
uncontrolled where they ought not.
Jesus Christ, at age 331/2,
was the most perfectly
developed man, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, who
ever lived. He was fully mature, these four blending
harmoniously into the one perfect whole man.
us study Jesus Christ's life, follow His example, live as He lived. And
let us begin, now, to train our children as early as possible in the
art of growing up emotionally!
Personal from the Editor, by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, Good News Magazine, April 1986