Are you an emotional yoyo? Last time I admitted I was. What are we to do?! Is there any hope for us? YES!
About 10+ years ago I wanted desperately to change, but I didn’t know where to go. There’s a lot of psychobabble and false teaching out there. Who and what am I to believe? I was afraid to put wrong information into an already messed up mind. Guess where God led me. His Word!
I want to pass these freeing discoveries on to you.
I began last time with how I deal with my emotional tendencies. I’d like to give you a few more “secrets.” The first two are a recap.
1. Admit, accept and submit your tendencies for God’s purposes.
2. Let truth lead instead of your emotions.
3. Understand what emotions are.
- Always follow thought; only responders.
- Have no intellect; not rational
- Cannot tell the difference between past and present, i.e. memory can trigger past-felt emotions.
4. Understand what emotions are not.
- Not the truth; unreliable source of information even though they are real.
- Not a guide to make decisions or to determine God’s will; feelings often cloud our judgement.
We must be careful not to mistake our feelings for the Holy Spirit’s leading. Unfortunately, I have done this and have suffered the consequences. Spare yourself needless pain and let God lead you—not your feelings!
- Not a sin
It isn’t wrong to feel sad or discouraged. This was a huge piece of the puzzle for me. I used to believe that if I didn’t always have the joy of the Lord I was sinning. That just made me feel worse! Jesus wept; agonized in the garden. And we know He didn’t sin! So how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradicting truths?
It’s what we do with those emotions that count.
- Not an excuse to sin.
Sorry, “I just couldn’t help it!” mentality won’t cut it with God!
5. Emotions are only one facet of our being.
“Man is like a diamond with its many facets. Those facets are not separate entities, yet they reflect various aspects of the whole. They may serve similar or overlapping functions, yet they are distinguishable. They are not parts; they are aspects, facets, faces of the whole.”*
Aspects include soul, spirit, heart, conscience, mind, flesh, and will.
6. There are many factors influencing our feelings.
Thoughts, past experiences, personality/temperament, and health are just a few of them. Some of these we can change; others we cannot.
We can look at these factors and work on the ones we can change. What we cannot change we can accept by humbling ourselves and surrendering it to the Lord. (=Key #1)
Most of us have seen this Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
7. Trust God to do His part.
God doesn’t want you to be controlled by your emotions; He wants to be Lord over your emotions. It is His will.
If you ask anything according to His will it’s a guarantee—only give Him time to work!
“…I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. .” (Jn 16:23)
*Ryrie Basic Theology
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide