Handling Our Emotions

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Angry, Frustrated Woman --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisOn a exceptionally good day it might be easy to walk in a way that brings honor to Christ. But what about on a day when everything seems to go wrong? What about a day when our body seems to be fighting against us? What about those days we suffer from PMS? On these days how do we walk in a “manner worthy”? How can we possibly be humble, gentle, patient, tolerant and loving when on those days we feel anything but that?

Here are a few thoughts on handling our emotions on bad, awful days regardless of the reasons.

We can not make excuses. We often try to excuse our bad attitudes as a weakness. We say that “we just can’t help how we feel”. We blame it on PMS and so many other things. We tell ourselves that somehow as women it’s okay to give in to our negative, hurtful emotions. We fly off the handle, become unglued and leave broken and hurt husbands, children, friends and co workers in our path. We expect them to just over look it, or we haphazardly apologize with, “I’m sorry, it’s just PMS or ____(you fill in the blank)”

We should not rely completely on human resources. Yes sometimes it helps to talk with a friend, but not in order to whine and complain. We can go to a friend in order to be reminded of truth and to pray.  There is great value in a friend who will listen to your “5 minutes” of emotional outcry but then points you to truth and prays with and for you.

We need help. The plain truth is we battle a sinful flesh. We don’t need a 3 step plan or a few carefully crafted questions. We do not need to “dump” it all on a friend. Or take out our anger or frustrations on those around us. What we need is help! We need someone to save us from ourselves. We need Jesus.

We don’t need to try harder or come up with a better plan to battle an onslaught of negative attitudes or thinking. No, what we desperately need is Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:3). We need to run to the only place where we can find true help. It’s a relationship with Jesus that will help us overcome those times of PMS, negative thoughts and emotions. For it is in Him that we can ask for the strength and grace to get our thinking right again. We need to go to Jesus and the cross not man’s remedies or man’s counseling.

We need to see our weaknesses. We need to see that we are sinners in need of a savior. We need to understand that we can not save ourselves and that our sin is deserving of God’s holy punishment. It’s at the cross that we see hope and help for our ugly flesh. It’s at the cross we receive forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us walk in a manner that is worthy. It’s at the cross we find grace and forgiveness for sins. At the cross we receive a new heart with new desires to please and glorify God. At the cross we find a “way of escape” when we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13).

Remember, just because we feel bad, or we are suffering from PMS it doesn’t mean we have to give into our sinful emotions. Yes it’s where our flesh naturally goes but we can choose to not sin against those around us. We can choose to allow Jesus to change us. For lasting genuine change only comes through Jesus. The only thing that will truly transform our thinking and emotions is the Gospel of Christ. It’s choosing to live a “gospel focused life”. A life that doesn’t try to excuse our sinful emotions but understand it comes from sinful desires in our heart. Sin that must be confessed and forgiven.

We need to live a gospel centered life. Living a gospel centered life means that when these sinful emotions arise we will take them to the cross where Jesus nailed them. Then we will look beyond the cross to the grave that no longer holds him. A grave that is empty because He conquered the power of death and sin for us. His risen body reminds us we are free. That same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power we have access to. It’s that power that can change our thinking, and our emotions.

Next time we feel our negative attitudes and emotions rising up within and every part of us is about to become completely unglued and start waging war on those around us; instead of trying to muster up our own strength to overcome we need to go to the cross. It’s there we have power to rise above sin and behave in a manner worthy of Christ. 

“…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects ,bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Col 1:9-10

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you,unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor 15:1-4 NAS emphasis mine)


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