At a ladies conference I attended some years ago,we were handed a magnet with a list of words describing a variety of emotions- words such as confused,ecstatic,angry,frustrated,sad,confident,happy,lonely,and depressed.Above each word was a humorous line drawing of a face depicting that particular emotion.
The list came with a smaller magnet in the shape of q frame that said, “Today I feel …” This piece was a designed to be placed over any one of the drawings to express “how I am feeling today.” If some of us changed the marker each time our emotions changed,we would be kept quite busy.Infact,most women feel most of these emotions at least once in a month. More than anything else,it is probably our female emotional makeup that sometimes causes men to throw up their hands and say, “I give up. I just can’t figure you out!” And in a sense,who can blame them?
When we wrestle with out-of-control emotions,it is very easy to conclude that emotions are inherently sinful or wrong and should be suppressed. We need to remember that being created in the image of God means we have the capacity to experience and express a variety of emotions. God exhibits a spectrum of pure emotions,including joy,delight,anger,envy,and bitterness. And she has designed us to be able to feel and express many different emotions in a way that reflects His heart and brings glory to Him.
The problem is not that we have emotions-they are a gift from God. The problem is that our emotions (unlike God’s)are tainted by the Fall.The challenge is to allow the Spirit if God sanctify us in the realm of our emotions so that they can be expressed in godly ways.
I know of no tool that the Enemy use more effectively to lead us a women into bondage than our emotions. He does so by making us believe things about our emotions that aren’t just true.
The enemy wants you to believe that if you feel unloved,you are unloved. If you can’t cope with the pressure,it must be true that you can’t make it.
Here are my top four.
1. “If I Feel Something,It Must Be True.”
The truth is that,due to our fallen condition,our feelings often have very little to do with reality. In many instances,feelings are simply not a reliable gauge of what is actually true. When you allow them to be tied to your circumstances-which are constantly changing-rather than to the unchangeable realities of God and His truth,your emotions are due to fluctuate wildly.
If you want to walk in freedom,you must realize that your emotions are not necessarily trustworthy and be willing to reject any feelings that aren’t consistent with the Truth.
2. “I Can’t Control My Emotions.”
The enemy make you believe you have no choice but to be controlled by your emotions. While it may be true to some degree that you can’t help the way you feel,the Truth is that you don’t have to let your feelings run your life.
For example,you may not be able to help feeling apprehensive about an upcoming medical exam,but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop worrying and fretting about the outcome. You may not be able to help feeling edgy or irritable at a certain time of the month,but that doesn’t mean you can’t help speaking “rudely” to or acting roughly toward whoever happens to get in your way on those days. You may not be able to help feeling vulnerable in a lonely season of your life when a married man takes an interest in you,but that doesn’t mean you can’t help “falling in love” with him.
But really,if you want to control your emotions you can. By simply confessing positive affirmations each time you wake up to pray. Tell yourself that you are in charge here and not some emotions. This truly works.
3. “I Can’t Help How I Respond When My Emotions Are Out Of Whack. (It’s Understandable To Act Like A Shrew At Certain Times)“
If you accept the lie that you can’t control your emotions,you will also believe you can’t control how you act when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable or out of control. Not only are you overly quick to believe your feelings,you are also overly quick to obey them.
So if you feel a sudden craving for a big bowl of chocolate ice cream at ten o’ clock at night staying up and watching a late – night movie,you do so. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed the next morning ,you pull the covers up over your head and call in sick at work. If you don’t feel like cooking a meal that night,you call for pizza delivery. If you don’t feel like cleaning the house,you let go until the mess is great you are really depressed.
The problem is,if you cater to your emotions and let them control your actions in these kinds of daily routines,you will become vulnerable to being controlled by your emotions in the major transitions and difficult seasons of life.
As with other aspects of nature,God has designed your body to function in seasons and cycles. Certainly each seasons of life has its challenges.
Didn’t God make your body?Doesn’t He understands how it works? Do you think things like menstrual cycles,hormones,pregnancy,and menopause catch Him off guard? He does not offer an easy or trouble-free process of growth. But He has promised to meet all our needs and to give us grace to respond to the challenges and difficulties associated with every stage of life.
4. “The Answer To Depression Must First Be Sought In Medication And/Or Psychotherapy.”
Depression is a particularly major issue for women-twice as many women as men suffer from depression. Never before has there been such widespread depression among women as what we are experiencing today in the West. In spite of how readily physicians diagnose depression and treat it with psychotherapy and drugs,the number of sufferers is only growing,and relatively few people are finding lasting relief.
What is important to know is that in many cases,physiological symptoms connected with depression are the fruit of issues that are rooted in the realm of the soul and spirit- issues such as ingratitude,unresolved conflict,irresponsibility,guilt,bitterness,unforgiveness,unbelief,claiming of rights,anger,and self-centeredness.
If these root causes are not addressed God’s way,the consequences will inevitably show up in your body and soul creating very real physical and emotional problems. In some instances,medication may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression. However,if the depression originated in something other than a physical malfunction, medication will permanently solve the problem. Properly administered,medication may help a severely depressed person get stabilized enough to think clearly providing a window of opportunity for the individual to begin dealing with the issues that created the problem. But there is no prescription drug that can “fix” the deeper issues of the spirit. Unfortunately,many people suffering from depression have come to view medication as a “solution” for their problem.If the sufferer does not address those inner heart issues,she cannot hope to be truly free.
In my life,I have to admit that my emotional lows are generally the result of my reaction to things not going “my way.” Deep down,I am angry-but rather than express that anger outwardly,I sink into an emotional pit,hoping that someone will notice and attempt to rescue me. Sometimes it worked and most times,it doesn’t. So I learnt to be in charge of my emotions at all times.
Nothing less than the “God of all comfort ” can meet our deepest needs at such times.