We have been groomed in our society to express our emotions, to embrace and act on them. We are constantly bombarded with images that play on our emotional responses. From commercials for chocolate promising a moment of pleasure to TV shows glorifying outrageous, shocking behavior to keep us invested in their emotional roller coaster dramas. We are a society run by emotions! Not that I'm saying all emotions are bad, just that we shouldn't let our emotions control us! Even love can be expressed in a way that hinders a person, i.e. spoiled children turn into spoiled adults. If we put our emotions first, no matter the situation, I'm not sure how helpful we would be to others.
My revelation for the week: Emotion is another word for self
Emotion is how we responded to situations. How we feel it affects us.
Google defines emotion as: "a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others"
Though the Bible doesn't use the word "emotion" (in the translations I've seen) there are countless verses imploring us to control ourselves (James 3) and yield to the Holy Spirit.
When Christ freed us from sin He broke all of our bonds. We are no longer slaves to thoughts and feelings. In fact, we have been called to rise above them in all situations.(Philippians 4)
This may be nothing profound to anyone else, but it left me speechless to realize that most of our sins stem from emotions; Anger, envy, gluttony = emotions. mind = blown!
So what does this revelation mean for me? change! . . . I hope ;)
As a wife, I am praying to honor my husband more. . . even when I don't feel like it. . . even when I think he's wrong. . . even when we face consequences to a bad decision he's made. I want to be solid, unshakable, able to be a comfort to him when he needs it, and strong enough to share any burden he's carrying. I can't be a pillar for him if my responses change with my moods. I'm not saying we won't disagree, but I don't want to respond out of my emotions to defeat him when conflict does arise. I want him to feel safe and secure with me.
As a mother, I am praying to not react out of emotion when my kids screw up -And- not to take it out on them when I get overwhelmed and angry. I want to love them selflessly. I want to be able to help them when they need me, not condemn them for doing something wrong. . . we can correct without condemning!
Finally, as a child of God, I am praying to be fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit through Christ. I want to focus on His love for me and others and I want to walk in that love, even when people purposely anger or hurt me. We are told that we wrestle with spirits, not with flesh and blood(people) Ephesians 6:11-13 so why are we so impatient and unwilling to pray for those who buffet us? I have come to the conclusion that only through prayer and studying God's word can we even begin to understand what Christ has done for us. Through the Holy Spirit, He has given us the power to resist acting out through our emotions. To be sober minded and see truth instead of spending our lives justifying our bad behaviors. To see who we really are at the heart level, the good and the bad. When we get THAT revelation, when we see how undeserving we were of His love yet how fervently He pursued us, how He still cleanses us and draws us to Himself, THEN can we start to get over our emotional hang ups and pet peeves to reach out to someone else, just as undeserving, yet just as loved. Because we get it, finally!