Inside Out 2, in theatres now, is Disney and Pixar’s animated sequel to Inside Out, a film that focuses on the emotions that live inside a young girl’s head as she adapts to a new school after her family moves across the country. 

Balance Upsetted

Inside Out 2 picks up a few years after the original. Riley (Kensington Tallman) has just turned 13. Herbody—and her emotions—arein a state of flux.

Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (PhyllisSmith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Tony Hale) and Disgust (Liza Lapira) are still present in Riley’s mind, help-ing her to manage her feelings and make positive memories. Everything is going according to plan—until the wrecking ball shows up.

The control panel that the emotions use to manage Riley’s feelings is demolished and rebuilt to make room for four new emotions that will join them in Riley’s mind. The first to show up is Anxiety (Maya Hawke). The existing emotions don’t know how to deal with this new unwelcome feeling in Riley’s mind. Then they’re joined by three more: Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos). Puberty has wreaked havoc on Riley’s emotional well-being, upsetting the delicate balance her emotions have striven to maintain.

Can Joy and the other emotions help Riley learn to handle her new emotions in a healthy way?

Can We Trust Our Feelings?

Even though most of us are long past puberty, we can still struggle to manage our emotions at times. A stressful situation at work, a health problem or a financial issue can cause our emotions to get out of whack and make us feel more angry or sad, fearful or anxious than usual.

This is completely normal. No one feels joyful all the time. God designed us to feel a range of emotions, and being a Christian doesn’t take away all of our negative feelings. Besides, if we never felt grief or despair, we couldn’t feel empathy for a loved one who was experiencing those emotions.

It’s important to remember that emotions can be tricky. They feel so real in the moment, but we can’t always trust them to portray an honest picture of reality. Our feelings are not always a good metric on which to make important decisions.

For example, if as Christians, we feel helpless about our future, that emotion is not an accurate representation of reality. We might feel that way for a time, but it’s not true. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” No matter what is going on in our lives, God is still with us, still rooting for us, still designing a special plan for our life.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

If we can learn to trust God and His plan, even through difficult circumstances, we should never feel helpless because we know that God keeps His promises. He’s promised us a heavenly home when we leave this earth, so no matter what, we can always have hope.

We might think that our faith in God is based on feelings, but those can change from day to day or even minute to minute. Instead, we need to remember that faith isn’t just a feeling. It’s a belief based on facts that will never change. Two thousand years ago, God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die and take the punishment for our sins (see John 3:16). God never changes. He loved us then and He still loves us now. Sometimes, we might feel ashamed of something we’ve done and think that God may have changed His mind about us, but it’s not true. Those are our feelings, and they aren’t always reliable.

When our feelings are causing us to doubt God’s love or His promises, we need to lean on the facts found in the Bible.

God knows us—inside and out—and He loves us anyway.

Photo: © 2024 Disney/Pixar

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