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Help For Us Emotional Yoyos: 7 Keys to Victory

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

I’ll Always Be an Emotional YOYO and How I Deal with It

I have to face it! I’ll always be a yoyo—up and down in my emotional state. I want to stay high or at least even-keeled, happy, and always at peace. But that’s an unrealistic goal for me—at least in this fallen world.

Maybe some of you are like me? (Perhaps we should form our own Yoyo’s Anonymous group?)

I don’t like being so easily moved by my feelings. Nevertheless, that is the way God created me, and my Maker doesn’t make mistakes. Understanding that was my first step in dealing with it—God’s way. I used to see my emotionality as a curse. Now I am wiser; my perspective has changed. The reality:

 It is both a strength and a weakness.

I am passionate, enthusiastic, and motivated. I get a lot of things done. I love and feel deeply. I am sensitive. I experience great joys and excitement.

Yet I easily get discouraged, hurt, disappointed, and flustered. Impatience is one of my biggest enemies. Depression comes knocking often. “Scaredy cat” is my middle name.

I could use my makeup as an excuse; rationalizing away poor responses. I could have a big pity party when I fail and stay in a defeated pit, or become prideful with success. I could retreat into my shell when hurt. I could make joy my ultimate goal and repeatedly flop.

OR

I can admit, accept and submit my tendencies for God’s purposes.

I can’t change what I feel, but I can change what I do.

I can respond by letting truth lead me instead of my emotions.

Without an awareness or admission of my propensities, they remain unguarded; vulnerable to satanic attack. Satan used to have a field day with me. Now I am aware of his conniving schemes (2 Cor 2:11). I truly don’t have to let my emotions control me; making me sin and reducing my impact for God’s Kingdom!

But I cannot do this on my own! I need the power of God and gratefully it is available (2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Pet 1:3-4).

Under God’s control these tendencies can be used for His glory; under my control, they result in “yoyoness.”

I am learning how to better manage my emotional state. My highs are still high, occur more frequently and last longer. My lows are not as low (usually), happen less often, and are shorter—IF I choose to submit myself to God and abide in Him consistently.

I am definitely more emotionally stable now. I have had significant victory in Christ over my emotions. But to think it’ll ever come naturally for me—that’s a pipe dream. I will always have to put out major effort—even fight—so as to not be overwhelmed and consumed by my feelings. I will always be a yoyo. But that’s ok because God loves me just the way He made me.

What are your propensities? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do some prayerful soul searching. You may not be an emotional yoyo, but be honest with who you are. Accept it and allow God to use your makeup for His glory. It is a much better way to live!

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