Control Your Emotions - Part One
During my teen years, I really struggled with my emotions, particularly anger. All of the abuse I received growing up spilled over into negative outbursts. In 2009, however, I finally understood what it meant to allow Christ’s life to shine through me (Gal. 2:20) and not “frustrate”/set aside/neutralize (See Strong’s) Christ’s enabling grace by trying to do it all in my own strength (Gal. 2:21) instead of His. The Lord was extremely gracious to open my eyes to this truth since two short years later in 2011 my brain and nerves were permanently damaged from disease. For those who are not aware, brain and nerve damage patients almost always deal with extreme emotional swings. The damage causes severe pain as well as imbalance to one’s feelings. This is likewise true for me, and yet, it is not. Most take various powerful medicines (whether pharmaceuticals or alternative/natural or addictive drugs) to deal with this pain and emotional imbalance. Almost all pain medicines do not work for me, and I do not take mood-stabilizing drugs (neither pharmaceuticals nor alternative/natural nor addictive). God’s grace conquered my imbalanced emotions before I become permanently damaged, and God’s grace still keeps my stress and emotions in check.
First, please note the many, many Scriptures throughout God’s Word that exhort the reader to control their own emotions. While you read them, please also note that all of God’s Word, including these verses, are for all people including those who are not perfectly healthy. None of us live in perfect bodies with perfect emotions in a perfect world. We are imperfect beings living with imperfect health and multiplied other issues in an imperfect world. God knows this when He gives His commands. That is why I John 5:3 promises, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
- Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
- Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
(Such a command reveals the power of control that is available, through Christ, to rule your own emotions.)
- Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
- Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:”
(God repeatedly commands His children to not be afraid. God would not command us to keep our feelings in check if we could not keep our feelings in check. Also, disobedience to God’s commands is sin which is important to note since there are many who do not want to acknowledge their unbridled emotions as sin. There is also false teaching on this as well, but any disobedience to God’s commands to control your anger, your fears, etc… is sin.)
- Proverbs 14:29 “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
(Again, uncontrolled emotions are folly; they are sin. Are you, dear reader, one “of great understanding” to challenge yourself to be “slow to wrath” with no excuses?)
- Colosians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath….” (Also Eph. 4:31)
Now, we should end the way I began: focusing on Christ’s grace. Grace is not mercy. Grace is God’s enablement to accomplish whatever it is that God requires of you. In this case, it is impossible to consistently and always control our stress and emotions, but with Christ all things are possible.
- Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
“All” does mean all here. Christ can give strength to control even your emotions. Otherwise, God would not have commanded it to be so. Remember that you alone cannot drum up pure, positive emotions and actions. The “works of the flesh” cannot work up that which is truly pure and truly positive. These are “fruit of the Spirit.”
- Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
- 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
You and I do not work to attain these. We simply allow Christ Who produces all of this fruit to live His life in us. Again, Gal. 2:20 “… nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God…”
Will you continue to excuse your uncontrolled emotions? Will you blame whatever circumstances or health issues you have as an excuse for unbridled feelings when you can cast them all upon God to empower you?
- I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”