First Things First: Ambivalence

ftf

The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!

Psalm 126:3,4

 


ChaplainMattPannkuk

Mr. Matthew Pannkuk-Chaplain, Middle School Bible Teacher

 

This week in Bible class we learned the word ambivalence.  We said it means having two or more emotions at the same time that seem to contradict.

If you’ve ever seen the true modern cinematic masterpiece Inside Out, then you know all about ambivalence.  Wouldn’t it be nice to only feel joy or happiness, and to have sadness, fear, and anger fade away?

Life is not so easy, however.  And the LORD knows this.  He knows we will often have conflicting motivations, contradictory desires, and ambivalent feelings.  Life is full of ups and downs, and they can both be happening at the same time!

One comfort I find from the Christian faith is that it understands and addresses the harsh realities of the world we experience around us.  The Bible is not afraid of ambivalence.  Scripture is fine describing sadness and joy right next to each other, hand in hand.  The Word of God reflects real life, and thus we can find meaning for our pain that otherwise would not exist.

Though we’d prefer to only feel positive emotions, it is only natural to experience ambivalence in this world.  One day, though, the former things will pass away, and there will be no more mourning or crying.

Psalm 126 gives us a glimpse of that time, and provides a way to express our sorrow and gladness simultaneously. We read that our pain is not in vain, that our hurts will indeed be healed, that though now torn in two we will be one again.  God’s people often went through various times of good and bad, and this psalm wonderfully expresses the dizzying highs of a life blessed by God even amidst the melancholy and despair that can sweep across the landscape of our lives.

Psalm 126-A Song of Ascents.

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.


Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church

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One thought on “First Things First: Ambivalence

  1. Mr. Pannkuk,

    I am not ambivalent regarding your offered level of dedication and clarity of instruction to the students, faculty, and staff at TOCS. Many continued blessings upon you!

    Carson

    *From:* Eagle Flyer [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Sunday, January 7, 2018 3:04 PM *To:* tocsschoolboard@twinoaksschool.org *Subject:* [New post] First Things First: Ambivalence

    Twin Oaks Christian School posted: ” The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Psalm 126:3,4 Mr. Matthew Pannkuk-Chaplain, Middle School Bible Teacher This week in Bible class we learned the word ambival”

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