As people encounter the SASHET* tool in our Foundation Courses there are a variety of responses. Many people take to it right away but some others find it strange as they have never shared on this level in a church context (or maybe in any context). They ask questions like "Is this just some psychological gimmick? What is the value of talking about feelings? Etc."
Here's a response I recently wrote to some of those questions...
Think of SASHET as a starting point. A healthy family (and house church) creates a safe environment for it's members to be open and honest about what's going on in their hearts. (Many of us grew up in families where it wasn't safe to talk about our emotions. We learned to ignore them or keep them inside.)
As people begin to talk about their emotions (some for the first time ever), our first response is gentle curiosity ("Tell me more. What do you mean by that? Etc.) and empathy. ("Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Rom. 12:15) Giving advice too quickly (which many Christians tend to do), can prevent people from having the opportunity to explore what they are feeling. SASHET helps us to listen deeply to each other's hearts.
In many cases, simply doing Romans 12:15 is all that is necessary. In other cases, the Lord may lead you to do more. For instance, you might listen to God together to see what He has to say about what has been shared. Or, you might ask the person if they would like some coaching or some focused prayer on what they are dealing with. This might be in the group or individually. There are many directions that the Lord might lead you.
All of this is to explain that SASHET is not about sharing emotions just to share emotions. Rather, it is a tool that helps us obey Scripture both individually and as a group. Specifically, it is a first step that helps us do the "one anothers". Pray for one another, encourage one another, serve one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, teach one another, etc. SASHET helps us know which of the "one anothers" is needed in each situation. As we follow the leading of the Spirit in these things, the church/group is strengthened and edified. "All these things must be done for the strengthening of the church" 1 Cor. 14:26.
*SASHET is a powerful community building tool. The word is an acronym for six emotional words: Sad - Angry - Scared - Happy - Excited - Tender. For
more on SASHET, go here: