Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control (Proverbs 25:28 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I could not believe my eyes! I had decided to go grocery shopping – a chore I hate with all my heart. I drove around the parking lot, looking for a good parking spot – and there she was. A woman standing in the middle of a parking place waving cars away. Why? She was saving the spot for her husband who was circling the lot.
I had a choice to make. I could give in to my rising anger or I could harness that anger and drive away, praying that someone did not mow down that woman with their car.
And then, the story of Jesus confronting the money changers in the temple came to mind.
When Jesus saw money changers defiling the temple of God, He was furious! Yet, He modeled the right way to harness and use emotions for good. I have heard many Bible teachers and preachers attempt to soften the response of Jesus, but the truth is – He was irate! I can almost see His face shrouded in fury as He contemplated His options.
If I had been in His place, I can tell you that those wicked men would have been toast! But before Jesus faced the intruders, He stepped aside to braid a whip – not because He had completed “Whip Braiding 101” but because He was taking the time to harness His emotions. Jesus then used that harnessed anger to drive the money changers out of the temple, correcting a wrong.
We choose where to invest every ounce of emotional energy we possess. Like Jesus, we must learn to invest wisely to reap the benefits of healthy emotions harnessed and trained by godly discipline.
It is not enough to acknowledge the presence of negative emotions. We have to learn how to manage them. If we don’t, negative emotions will take control. There’s more! We must also know how to react to the negative emotions in others.
Feelings of inferiority imprison so many women, and the results are always disastrous. Constructive criticism is perceived as an emotional attack. Jealousy burgeons as others receive the accolades we desperately crave. Decisions are made, and a course of life is determined so that fragile egos are fed, excluding God’s plan and purpose. Comparison reigns as a false idol attempting to validate worth and success. Inferiority crosses over to pride, and sin reigns.
The success of emotional integrity lies in the one who holds the reins. We must constantly choose to surrender every emotion to the supernatural control of God because when we do, the Holy Spirit empowers that choice, produces control, and transforms emotional bondage into emotional freedom. Learning to control anger is a crucial life lesson that we need to master.
“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28 NIV).
Emotional bankruptcy is too often responsible for the destruction of life. Therefore, we must intentionally monitor emotional withdrawals and their impact on our lives. There are undoubtedly emotional withdrawals that are good, right, and ordained by God.
However, some emotional deposits are not God-ordained! Life is jam-packed with lifeless places in which to invest emotional energy. Some look to us as their faithful savior or always-available crisis manager. That job belongs to God alone!
We must constantly check our emotional balance, guarding the emotional withdrawals we allow and diligently making consistent emotional deposits. Prayer, solitude, Bible study, friendships, service, accountability, and a guarded thought life are just a few of the deposits that can make the difference between emotional health and emotional bankruptcy.
Emotional imbalance occurs when we operate in our own strength, doing our “own thing” instead of wholly depending upon God and living within the parameters of His will. But, conversely, when we abandon all that we are to His strength, purpose, and power, the Father deposits everything we need to accomplish every good work He created us to do.
Father, please teach me how to control my emotions and use them for good things instead of bad things in my life. Help me to turn to You alone for the strength to do and say the right things when I am angry. I want to have emotional integrity before You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How are you doing with the emotions in your life? Do you have a plan for when an emotion strikes, and you are not prepared to deal with it in a healthy way?
Stop. Spend some time with God, coming up with a plan for guarding your emotions.
More from the Girlfriends
I see so many angry people today – more than ever before. So, I live in anger-control mode. I also wrote a book, You Make Me So Angry, that I believe will help you deal with your anger the right way. Check it out!
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.