EMOTIONS

Emotions. You have them. I have them. Sometimes they serve us well. Sometimes they get us in trouble.

Photo by Sofia Garza on Pexels.com

“I can’t control my emotions!”
“I am all over the place. One minute I am happy and next I fall into uncontrollable sobs.”
“I am not angry!”
“I don’t feel like laughing.”
“It’s that time of the month. I can’t control my feelings.”

“You’re so emotional,” we say, as if that were a bad thing

Is it?

Emotions are not inherently sinful or wrong. It’s whether we can control them or not that is important.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines emotion as:
— a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body
— a state of feeling

We experience something. The man I have been dating says he loves me. This produces an intense burst of happiness that causes me to cry and jump up and throw my arms around him.

Or.

My boyfriend says he doesn’t think we were meant to be together and he doesn’t want to see me anymore. All sorts of emotions could arise from this, but probably the predominate one will be anger or hurt or both and we will weep, our stomachs will churn, and we tell him to leave and slam the door.

Neither of these responses might be wrong, but taken to extremes and allowed to fester, they will become exceedingly sinful.

To some degree we can’t help the way we feel, but the truth is we don’t have to let our feelings run our lives.

Example: you may not be able to help feeling apprehensive about an upcoming event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop worrying and fretting about the outcome.

Being created in the image of God means we have the capacity to experience and express a variety of emotions. God is an emotional being. He is joyful, delights, and sometimes He is angry, jealous, and sorrowful. But, of course, in His display of emotions He never sins.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Our design is that we feel and express many different emotions in a way that reflects His heart and brings Him glory.

The problem is we are sinful, flawed human beings. The problem is not that we have emotions, but that they have been damaged by the fall.

We need the Holy Spirit to sanctify our emotions so that we can express them in a godly way and not a sinful way.

A woman told Billy Sunday that she had a bad temper, but that it was over in a minute. He replied, “So is a shotgun, but it blows everything to pieces.”

It only takes a moment of out of control emotions to endanger relationships. How often have you said, after saying something in anger, “I really didn’t mean that. I was just angry.” But words once spoken are hard to take back. They are like bullets, once on their way, you can’t call them back.

Anger is not a fruit of the Spirit. But, I am not discussing anger management.

I am discussing emotion management.

First of all, the enemy uses several ways to snare our emotions. Some lies seem to be his favorites.

If I feel something, it must be true.
If I feel unloved, I am unloved.
If I feel my situation is hopeless, then it must be.
If I don’t feel saved, then I am not.

Because of our fallen condition, our emotions often don’t track with reality and Satan capitalizes on that.

We need to tie our emotions to God and His unchanging truth and word, not our changing emotions.

Photo by Sandy Torchon on Pexels.com

Our emotions can take us on a roller-costar ride. Up and down. Up and down. When this happens, we need to close our eyes, stop, take a deep breath and refocus on the truth.

This is truth dear daughter of God.
God is good. He loves me. I am forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. God will never leave me nor forsake me. I am so valuable to Him, He died for me. He is with me all the time. Whatever I may feel –these are truths. If God is for me, who can be against me?

Is there something going on in my life God can’t handle? Don’t think so. He knows me.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
Psalm 139:1-4

He knows when you are about to have an emotional melt down. He’s waiting for you to let go of the reigns and to call on Him to control you though the Spirit who dwells in you.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Keep in mind, our emotions are not trustworthy. We must filter everything through the Truth.

Paul gives a picture of mental sanity and emotional stability in Phil 4.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Be happy. God is good. Let the Light shine in all the dark places of your life.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.

Be gentle and considerate of people.

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

God, the Holy Spirit indwells us. Jesus is near us now and returning in glory one day. So, let it go. God’s for you. He has your back. Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us.

In middle school, I was a first class worrier. I learned this little ditty to ease my anxiety. “Worry is like a rocking chair, it never gets you anywhere.” Pathetic I know, but I didn’t know the Lord. What else did I have?

In middle school I rocked my worry. Now, I dispose of it by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Here is the result of the above verses. Here is the result of giving your emotions to God to deal with. A peace you can’t understand or explain becomes your’s and God stands guard over you.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.”

Here is the follow-up. Now, that your emotional well-being is in hand, Paul gives us a maintenance plan. Watch what you see, hear, and think about and find a godly mentor. Find an older woman who will model self-control and teach you and walk with you.

Emotions are not your master if you are a child of God and walk in the Spirit. That is freedom!

Be free, sisters. Lay it all down at the Cross.

You are loved

HOME BUILDING 101

Building Material: Joy

In my last Home Building post our building material was peace. Paul said, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6) Contentment is peace and when we are content and at peace it will bring us great freedom and joy. I believe that is what Paul means by great gain.”

Do you know that joy, joyous, and joyful are mentioned 177 times in the Bible? It’s an important word: Paul used it, James used it, Peter used it, and best of all Jesus used it.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

What things was he talking about? He had just taught them that He was the True Heavenly Vine, they were the branches, and if they abided in His love, they would be heavenly fruit bearers and so glorify the Father. These are the things that cause Jesus’ joy to remain in us and cause our joy to be full. Abiding and obedience brings contentment, contentment and peace bring joy!

Joy, when my car breaks down on the freeway? Joy, when my son falls from the top of a bunk bed and ends up with a concussion? Joy, when my husband leaves me? James said, “Count it all joy …”

How can I do that?

You can do it because your satisfaction and contentment is not in your car or your son or your husband, but in God and Him alone.

Proverbs speaks of the joyful condition of the heart.

A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22)..

All the days of the afflicted are evil,
but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15).

A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed (Proverbs 15:13).

A joyful heart is the best medicine; a cheerful heart has a continual feast of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; a glad heart makes a cheerful face displaying contagious smiles.

Or


A crushed spirit is like dry bones, it is crushed by a sorrowful heart, and all the days of the afflicted are evil.

I don’t know about you, but I want a house filled with laughter. I want whoever enters to feel there is joy overflowing in the relationships of those who live there.

And we can spread and permeate our homes with this kind of joy.

Dear Sister, if you want a joyful home where smiles abound and laughter is common, fill yourself with the word of God and walk in the Spirit. If laughter comes from anything else it will be shallow.

If you are a child of God, The Holy Spirit in you produces the fruit of joy along with all the others (Galatians 5:22-23).

How does this joy get released? How can we be diffusers of this precious celestial commodity? How do we fill ourselves up, so we can fill our houses full?

Spend time with Jesus

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Daughter of Zion, look at this command to be joyful. When was the last time you shorted for joy? When this was written they were looking forward to Messiah coming. Now, he has come! He has come to us!

Joy is found in his presence. .

How do we come into his presence?

Through his word and the Spirit. Get alone, open the word, pray for the Spirit to fill you with knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9-11), and to make Jesus beautiful to you. That is a prayer the Holy Spirit will joyfully answer.

When we are filled up with Jesus we find joy in:
– In salvation (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
-In giving good Biblical advice (Proverbs 15:23)
– In being peacemakers (Proverbs 12:20).
– In seeing that justice is done (as you have opportunity and ability)
– In answered prayer (John 16:24)
– In strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

The Kingdom of God is full of it.

Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

In the last Home Building post I talked about it’s not your meal preparation, or the food, or the expensive imported china, but your heart that makes a good meal.

So, serve your meals with peace and joy and see how much better everyone’s digestion gets.

What does this joy look like?

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1:8).

Our joy is inexpressible and filled with glory.

At forty-four, for the first time, I saw a group of happy Christians. It was overwhelming to me. I hadn’t met Jesus yet, but I knew I wanted what they had. I now recognize they had joy. What we really can’t explain with words radiates out from our being. Christians who are filled with inexpressible joy have a heavenly halo.

There are many more Scriptures about joy, but I don’t have time, nor the space, nor the mental ability to address them all. Do a word study for yourself. Look up all the verses in the Bible that speak of joy. It’s amazing. You don’t have to read them all. Just bask in God’s passion for your joy and happiness.

These verses can be summed up in this direct command.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

Our mission is to translate all this joy into our homes. We all like to be around people with a sense of humor. Some of us are more humor challenged than others. Science seems to be saying there is a genetic component to it, but of course, there is also the nurture aspect to it. We may or may not be genetically disposed to having a sense of humor, but it is also a learned behavior.

Wherever you are on the humor scale, if you have Jesus’ joy in you, you can make your home a joyful place.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Out of that joy, practice making people laugh. Find some clean jokes to tell your kids. Teach them to be humorous. It isn’t a sin for a Christian to be funny.

Let me clarify, we are warned to, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). We know to guard against the kind of humor Paul is talking about.

So Dear Sister, lighten up! Steep yourself with Jesus’ joy. Spread it around your house. Diffuse it into your conversations. Teach your children to laugh properly.

Rejoice!

The Narrow and Wide Roads

Redeemed Womanhood

What does it look like?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 Amplified Bible)

Redeemed womanhood looks like the narrow path.


Jesus talks about two roads in the above verse. The narrow road, more like a path, and the wide broad highway: believers and non-believers.

Dear Sister, if you are a Jesus follower, he called you through the narrow gate and you are traveling on the narrow path. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control surround you on the narrow path.

Oh, but wait – didn’t Jesus himself say the narrow path was difficult, hard to follow?

Yes! It is not always smooth, straight, and lined with lush, rich vegetation. The walk is not always easy. Jesus said it was hard (Matthew 7:14), but It is not burdensome, because of the One who leads you (Matt. 11:28-29). He’s already walked it for you when he was here one earth, with no missteps.

Obstacles line the way, but there are always means to go over or around them (1 Corinthians 10:13). Refreshment stands show up when you need them most. Filled with life-giving water, which provides strength for the journey (John 7:37; Revelation 7:17).

I posted a few days ago, an article my daughter wrote about her descent into Phantom Canyon. At times, that trail is like the narrow road we are on. The narrow trail was steep, paved with loose gravel, her pack was too heavy and too loose. Struggling through fear and exhaustion, she continued on because she knew at the end of the trail was rest.

Blessed rest.

Rest stops also show up along the narrow path. Jesus has provided pauses in life so we can rest and catch our breath.

One of those rest stops for me has been my quarantine. His providence provided me with a pause to rest and consider my ministry. My prayer for you, dear sister, is you have also found rest and new direction in this time of pause.

Photo by Ryan Millier on Pexels.com

Another road exists. Jesus called it the wide and broad and easy to travel road.

Before you met Jesus you walked on the wide road. It was easy to cruise along. Doing your own thing. Making your own rules. Being your own god.

You know dozens of people on it. The flirt in your office who keeps dropping suggestive hints. The friend who doesn’t understand why you won’t go out boozing with her anymore. Maybe your children who don’t understand the change in you, or your husband. Your neighbors. The list goes on and on.

Destruction lies on this road. You remember how it started quietly to tear at your soul. In the dark hours of the night, you would call out, “There’s got to be more to life than this.”

Jesus heard you. So, know that if you have entered through the narrow gate (saved, redeemed, regenerated, or born-again, whatever you call your salvation experience) and are on the narrow path, don’t think you can slip back and cruise on the broad easy highway again (as if you would want to!). That’s not who you are now. You are a narrow path walker – not a wide, broad, easy highway cruiser. No more fast lane for you.

Dear Sister, tread the narrow, hard way. No matter the fear, the exhaustion, the overwhelming fog in your brain, no matter the tears, one foot in front of the other on the narrow path leads to life.

Your Guide on the narrow way, which let you through the narrow gate (John 14:6) is beckoning you.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11: 28-29).

He will guide you gently through all the ups and downs of life on the narrow path. He makes this promise:

“I will make known to you the path of life; in my presence there is fullness of joy; at my right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

So, take your guide’s hand. Talk to him about all this. Talk to him about your travel plans, what you are lugging with you and what you need to discard.

Lay it all down at his feet. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrew 13:5).

You are loved.