Learning to control your emotions instead of them controlling you


Emotions are often easily misunderstood. Consequently, many find it hard to process, express and use their emotions for good. One thing we must understand about emotions is that they are God-given and can be used for His glory as long as we surrender our hearts and our will to Christ.

Do you have a grandparent or someone you know who had wartime experience as a former member of the military? War vets could tell you how difficult it is to conquer territory by force. And as hard as that is, the Bible compares the conquering of emotions to be even harder!

Proverbs 16:32 says, "Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

What a comparison! Controlling one's emotions might as well be next to impossible. It makes you want to thank God so much more that He is a God that makes the impossible possible.

Emotions aren't bad. In fact, God wants us to be honest about our emotions. David was honest about his weaknesses, worries and trials. Jeremiah was honest with his emotions when he thought that God had caused him trouble by calling him to be a prophet (Jeremiah 20:7). It's not the presence of emotions that breaks us. The question is whether or not we would let emotions influence our decisions and actions.

God created all emotions—happiness, anger, grief and sadness among others. In every season, each emotion has its place. But in times of extreme emotion, God asks us to be still and search for Him, not rush and make hasty decisions that are unchecked and unguided. Colossians 3:15 tells us, "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body."

So how do we take control of our emotions? The truth is, we sometimes cannot do so because of our broken nature. But God promises that if we rely on the Holy Spirit and let Jesus rule in our hearts, He will help us. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Emotions are not bad; sometimes they can even prove to be extremely helpful when processed and expressed well. But they must be expressed to God, not held back from Him.

As we express every emotion, whether extreme joy or extreme sadness, Jesus processes this in our heart, gives us true freedom and guides us through His Spirit to do the right thing.