Emotion: The Gift of the Spirit


There is something about worship music that completely overtakes me. As I lift my hands up in praise and as I worship Him with the congregation, I am always overcome with intense emotion. I feel the music deep in soul as it bubbles up. I become filled with the words of praise and I weep. Every. Single. Time.

I remember noticing this when I was about fifteen years old at my youth group. We would always begin and end the night with praise and worship and I would always bawl my eyes out. As a teen, I felt like an anomaly; I felt strange. I would question my emotions. I would be thinking, Why am I crying? No one else is crying. I would try to distract myself during the music so I would not cry. I would try to block out the words of the song so I would not be overcome with emotion. I was self-conscious and I doubted myself.

But one day, I remember it clearly, one of my youth group leaders and I were talking and I mentioned to her that I would always cry during worship music. I explained to her of my self-doubt. But she said something that has stuck with me for the last ten years: “Your emotional expression is a Gift of the Spirit.” This simple declaration completely floored me. She went on to explain that when our hearts are touched by the Holy Spirit, we simply cannot help but release this emotion. Our earthly bodies are simply not capable of containing the immensity of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies find ways of cathartic release—and for me it is through crying.

Today’s Psalm completely echoes of this notion:

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song.”
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord.”
“With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!”

All of Heaven and earth sings His praises. Even when we picture the angels in Heaven, what do they always have with them? Harps and trumpets. God’s Own angels in Heaven are constantly singing His praises! It only fits that when we sing His praises on earth we catch a glimmer of the perfect sounds of the angels. It is as if during worship music, the heavens part and the angels sing with us and the Holy Spirit is called.

Now whenever I am lifting my arms in praise and singing with my brothers and sisters, I allow my emotions to pour out. I feel no shame. I feel no embarrassment. I feel connected to the complete faithfulness of our Lord. It is beautiful. Do you feel overcome with emotion when you sing His praises? Is there anything you do in the name of the Lord that completely overtakes you?


Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and soon-to-be-dentist currently living in San Francisco, California. You can find out more about her here.

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