Some bumper stickers amuse me, some aggravate me, and every once in a while I come across one that really makes me think... or perhaps not.
If we acted on every whim of emotion or every fleeting thought we had our lives would be a train wreck. Let’s be honest - all kinds of crazy ideas and feelings run through our heads and our hearts. We are emotional beings because God created us that way. However we must realize that we are not supposed to be controlled by our emotions. That’s a whole lot easier to type that to walk out!
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” - Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
Here are a few things we can do to climb off of the emotional roller coaster -
- First figure out what you are feeling/thinking and why. Without this piece of information you are at the mercy of your emotions and thoughts.
- Second recognize that there is a difference between thought and action. Just because you are justified in feeling or believing a certain way (i.e. hurt, scared, angry, etc.) doesn’t mean that you are justified to act on them. It also doesn’t mean that they are constructive or even grounded in reality (i.e. I was treated badly by one man therefore all men are bad and I cannot trust any man).
- Finally respond appropriately rather than react emotionally. As Christians we need to submit our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, emotions and actions to the Scriptures. If truth lies within us then it is subjective and relative to the individual and the individual situation. But if Truth lies somewhere outside of us then right and wrong are constant and unchanging regardless of what we believe or how we feel in a given moment. We may have every ‘right’ to be angry with someone but the ‘righteous’ response is to forgive. It is also what is in YOUR best interest!
The world will tell you that God is trying to constrain you when in reality He is trying to set you free. Free to be in control of your thoughts and emotions. Let’s read on -
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” - Jeremiah 17:10 NIV
God cares and He knows what’s going on inside our hearts. Don’t forget that. When we rise above our own thoughts and emotions to treat others with the same love and grace God showed us it is in that moment we are living our faith. That is the love of Jesus and a life God can’t wait to reward!