EMOTIONS

 

DEFINITIONEmotions are defined as strong feelings about something or someone.

FACTS ABOUT EMOTIONS:

God created emotions.  God created you in His image and He is an emotional being, expressing emotions such as love, righteous anger, mercy, compassion, etc.   As a human being, created in God’s image, you also have emotions.

Emotions can be divided into two categories A negative emotion is any response that results in adverse  thoughts  or actions. A positive emotion is any response that results in positive thoughts or actions.  There is a broad range of emotions in each of these two categories and a person may also express combinations of these emotional responses.  It is your negative emotional responses which you want to eliminate.

DEALING WITH  EMOTIONS: 

Recognize that negative emotions are powerful.  Unbridled negative emotions can cause you to react in ways that can impact your life forever.  Many people who had never violated the law previously are serving lengthy prison sentences because of one violent act done in a fit of anger.

Understand that negative emotions do not represent the truth.  For example, you may feel fearful when there is nothing to fear.  You may worry when in reality, there is nothing about which to be concerned.  It is God’s Word that speaks the truth into your life, not your own negative emotions or your limited perception of the situations around you.

Do not try to excuse your negative emotions.  Deal with them, because they are powerful and, left unchecked, they will control your life!  You have the power to do so because the Word of God declares that “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NKJV).   The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you and will enable you to control your emotions (Romans 8:11).

Take responsibility for your emotions.  What negative emotions do you experience and express when you are in difficult situations?  Acknowledging these responses will make you more aware of them when they try to surface in your life.  Do not blame your emotions on others, ie., “I’m like my Uncle Jack.  I got his temper!”  Take responsibility for your own negative responses.  You are only responsible for how you react to situations, not for how others respond.

Make a decision to change.  All change begins with a decision.  Your decision to become a believer was the first step toward a new life.  Now you must make a decision to allow God to rule in every area of your life, including your emotional responses.  You are the only one who can initiate changes in your emotions.  You do this by making a decision to be transformed by the Word instead of being conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2).

Realize that you cannot change your soulish nature on your own.   Self-effort will not rid you of habitual sin. Negative emotions cannot be broken through self-effort.  You must let God supernaturally change your mind, will, and emotions.  For years, your sinful soulish nature has controlled your body and your spirit.  Now you must learn to let your redeemed spirit  control your body and soul. Don’t give up.  It is a process of spiritual growth.

Pray about your negative emotions.  Make your negative emotions a matter of prayer.  God wants you set free from every emotion that has you in bondage.  As you pray about your emotions, God will give you wisdom and power to deal with them.

Realize that negative emotions call for an immediate response.  Whenever you recognize a negative emotion beginning to surface, it is a signal that something is wrong.  You need to stop what you are doing, stop what you are saying, or stop what you are thinking.  Do not allow the emotion to be strengthened by your actions, words, or thoughts.  In the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit, take control of negative emotions immediately (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Be willing to forgive.  If you follow the biblical directive to forgive others, many negative emotions will be eliminated.  You have been forgiven by God and people whom you have offended.  Extend this same grace to others

Wait before you respond. In difficult situations, think about the response you are about to express.  Is it an attitude that honors God, His Word, and your commitment to Christ?  How does this emotion reflect on you as a believer?  Is it an emotion by which you want to be known?  For example, being angry all the time will make you known as an angry person.

Take the way of escape.  Sometimes, you need to  remove yourself from a volatile situation or an aggravating person.  God’s Word has promised: “No temptation (trial) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (tried) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (tried), he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV).  This is God’s guarantee that no circumstances, trial, temptation or attack of the enemy will come into your life that you are unable to bear.  In every circumstance you face,  God has made a way of escape that will bring you out victoriously.

Respond as you would like to be responded to.  Ask yourself how you would like for someone to treat you in a similar situation.  Apply what is called the “golden rule”  that is the thesis statement of  the Word of God:  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”  (Matthew 7:12).

Eliminate volatile situations when you can do so. This will help, but you may not be able to escape certain people and problems. You can, however, make a decision to change your attitudes and your responses to these circumstances and refuse to respond negatively.

Avoid toxic people.  Toxic people are those who speak negative things into your life such as “you are stupid, you should be ashamed, you will never amount to anything, etc.”  Avoiding such people does not give you license to treat them rudely.  You can be friendly without being friends.   Do not make annoying, insensitive, rude, toxic people your close friends and confidants.   Toxic people ignite the sparks of negative emotions in your life.  The Bible says: “Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,  Lest you learn his ways  And set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25, NKJV).  Substitute any negative emotion for the words “angry” and “furious”, and the warning is the same because you learn the ways of those you hang out with.  Your own attitudes, actions, and emotions are affected by the company you keep.   Make friendships with people who are aggressively following the Lord and will speak the truth of God’s Word into your life.

Don’t give up.  If you regress into a negative emotional reaction, do not give up in your quest to eliminate such responses.  You never fail until you quit trying!  Remember that after your new spiritual birth, your soul–which is your mind, will, and emotions–must be supernaturally changed as you live out this new life.  This change is a process of spiritual maturity.

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT EMOTIONS:

Here are some general guidelines that are applicable to all negative emotions.  For specific emotions, identify the problem and then use a concordance to study all the Bible has to say about it.  For example, if you are struggling with anger,  commit to memory such verses as:  “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control”  (Proverbs 19:11).

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  (Matthew 7:12)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.   (Romans 12:1-2).

No temptation (trial) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (tried) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (tried), he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4, NKJV)

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