When the Holy Spirit starts to move during a church service, many Christians cry, jump for joy, run around or shout. But some don’t. If you’re like me, after a while you start to wonder why. Those who do cry, jump for joy, run around or shout may look at you and wonder why you don’t. They may even judge you as someone who is not filled with the Holy Spirit. As some one who has only spoken in tongues ONE TIME ( I was 8 years old at a New Year’s Eve Service) I can say strongly that I disagree with that notion. I don’t have many biblical facts or a message from God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit that agrees with me, but I haven’t seen any that disagree either.
I believe we are all wired differently, with many different actions to go with many different emotions. The Bible does say we are made in God’s image, yet he was wise enough to make us all different. I will use love for an example. Since God is love I think that’s a great emotion to use. When I heard my girlfriend say I love you to me for the first time I couldn’t stop smiling. Whenever she does something to show she loves me it’s much of the same. Overall I’m not an over the top emotional person. I keep things very close to the vest, but I still show some emotion to what I’m feeling. On the other side my girlfriend has a range of emotion for the same feeling. When I said I love you, I saw tears of joy in her eyes. When I show my love with an action whether it be a surprise visit or a special gift, I’ve seen a huge smile she couldn’t wipe off her face, tears of joy, and sometimes she attacks me with hugs and kisses. Neither is wrong or better than the other. Transition these examples to the emotions and feelings of the Holy Spirit. When I feel the spirit moving at church, my hair on my arms stands up. I feel goose bumps even when I’m not cold. Often times I feel a calmness that I don’t feel when I’m not in the presences of the Spirit. To me that’s the equivalent of my smile when my girlfriend tells me she loves me or shows me loving action. In the opposite of me, I’ve seen her bawling crying when the spirit moves at church. I’ve seen her raise her hands, and even her hands shake. To me, neither of our actions is wrong or righter than the other. To some, I would be judged as not truly in tune with the spirit. Sometimes I have felt out of place because my reaction wasn’t more.
Yet I’ve come to the conclusion in my spirit walk that nothing is wrong with me or anyone else that is similar. I have stopped judging myself and feeling less of a Christian. I remember one time when I was in my early twenties; my childhood friend Craig asked his uncle who is a reverend, why we didn’t shout. His uncle told us, it’s because we haven’t been through enough to make us shout. I’ll never forget that as long as I live. He’s right. I have been through some difficult times, I even had a near tragic car accident that I know God saved me from. Believe me when I tell you, every time I looked at the pictures of my mangled truck I was thankful, sometimes I was even in tears. I knew by the grace of God was the only reason I am alive to talk about. I immediately gave God the praise right there on the side of the road. Every time I see an accident like mines I think about how God saved me. So I know what Reverend Bertha was trying to say.
Just because I don’t scream and shout, doesn’t mean I’m not filled with the Holy Spirit. I feel the spirit just like everyone else. I feel the Lord moving in my life, and I know when the spirit has filled the room. But I also know I can’t be something I’m not. I’m not big on outward displays of joyful emotion, and I am working hard on containing and eliminating outward displays of negative emotion. What I’m trying to say is just like any other emotions, we will all express our feelings towards them differently. Any thing else would be fake, and I believe the Lord would frown upon that. We can only be who HE intended us to be. I say this with the utmost love for all of God’s children. Stop judging yourself and more importantly, STOP judging each other.