Season: 1 Episode: 012
Do you feel like you’re swayed by your emotions and moved by circumstance? Emotions are powerful, but they can also be deceptive. How do we make wise judgments in the midst of emotion? Shanda takes you through the basic human emotions and what God’s word says about how to DEAL with them.
“Just because you cried doesn’t mean it was God.”
“Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?”
“God gives us permission to feel but not permission to sin.”
Blog: Emotional High
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Welcome back, my friend. You are listening to episode 12 and this is the last episode of season 1. Say, what?!?!?
I can’t believe we’re already finishing up a season. Time is flying and by the time this episode airs it’s going to be March. I feel old already. Where is 2020 going?
Not to worry though. There will be no break in episodes between season 1 and 2. We are going to jump right in to season 2 and it is already jam packed with lots of good things about relationships. I’m going to have guests on regarding marriage, Christian dating, sex within the marriage (just said the S word on the podcast), and friendship.
So, if you have a question about anything to do with relationships, shoot me an email at email@example.com. People send me episode ideas on IG all the time and there’s not one question I haven’t made a podcast episode yet.
Before we get into today’s episode, I want to read a review and this one is from “Teamflick” and she writes … “Love the realness of what Shanda is sharing on her podcast and how she relates real world life to the Bible. Thank you for such a great show!”
I am so thankful someone noticed that I love taking real life and relating it to the Bible. And actually, it’s the Bible that relates to real life. That’s why it is timeless, active and living.
Thank you so much for this review. I love, love, love reading them. It gets me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. For real!
So, let’s do this whole episode 12 thing and talk about how not to be led by our emotions.
Before I get into the HOW not to be led by our emotions, I want to get into what our emotions are (even though that may seem obvious to you), and why they are good.
First, it should not come as a surprise that women can tap into their emotions more effectively than men. Men are emotional beings too. They are created with a mind, body and soul as we are.
But, let’s face it … women have a monthly cycle that throws our hormones off balance and out of whack and they cause us to be more emotional during those times. So, that’s also a thing we have to deal with when it comes to our emotions.
Studies show that women are more verbal than men when it comes to expressing our wants, desires and needs. That means we articulate what we feel more freely.
Not only that, we are bombarded with things on a daily basis that stir our emotions.
According to Zig Ziglar, an iconic salesman and motivational speaker, he says, “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
According to emolytics.com Studies show that emotionally charged events create powerful memories in people’s minds. In turn, these memories motivate us into taking action.
Emotions are a huge part of our lives. They are involved in everything we do. They remind us that we are human and they cause us to experience life in a meaningful way.
Emotions remind us that we are connected to every other human being on this planet. Every race. Every nation. Just as everyone bleeds red … we all experience the same emotions.
And that brings me to the 6 basic emotions, which are ….
And as Christians, we believe emotions come from the soul of man. They are feelings we have. Obviously, there are physical manifestations of our emotions, but for the most part, they cannot be seen. Emotions are felt.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is a “time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
God does not discourage us from feeling emotions. He created them in us. But He does give lots of insight on how we are to deal with emotions. Because emotions should not be suppressed or ignored … they must be dealt with.
What will we address in this episode?
I feel it’s only necessary that I share some of my own experiences with emotions because I want you to understand that I am human too and I have emotions. But in this episode we are going to talk about how to know if we’re being led by our emotions. Are they controlling us or are we controlling them?
What does the Bible say about our emotions, and what are some practical tips on how to deal with them?
And at the end of this episode, I’m going to share why it’s important to be able to identify a real life changing experience instead of just an emotionally charged event.
O’kay, so let’s get into my experience with emotions.
Some women are more emotional than others. I’m probably less emotional than the average woman.
I don’t cry much. I don’t yell often and I don’t hit things when I’m angry. But that doesn’t mean I always deal with my emotions very well.
And I didn’t cry at my wedding. I was so happy I just had a fun time and smiled the whole day. My husband didn’t cry either and I didn’t care. I prefer he not cry because that makes me cry for sure.
I didn’t cry at any of my children’s births because I was more overwhelmed with fear since I had to have an emergency c-section with my first boy and the other two births just made me nervous.
Oftentimes we associate being emotional with crying, but that’s just not true. I still felt emotion … fear… but everyone reacts differently in each situation and we all handle emotions differently.
I’m a talker by nature, but when you get my emotions involved (anger, sadness, or fear) I shut down.
My husband can always tell when something is wrong with me because I don’t talk.
So, we experience the same emotions but we may handle them differently.
And that’s what we really need to talk about today. How do we handle, or control, our emotions? Or are they controlling us?
What does the Bible say about emotions?
First, our emotions can deceive us. They can’t be trusted. Why is that? Well, our emotions come and go based on circumstance. That means what we feel isn’t always logical.
How many times have we argued with someone in our heads and before you know it, we’re angry with them and they don’t even know about it.
Or, a smell can bring up an old memory and immediately we tear up or become melancholy.
Emotions are good, but again, they can’t be trusted. For that reason, we have to be led by one thing and one thing only … the Spirit of God.
Gal 5:16 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Easier said than done, am I right?
How do we gratify the flesh through our emotions when we are led by them instead of the Spirit of God?
- We react when we get emotional. Proverbs 29:11 says, “a fool gives full vent to his anger.”
An angry person who allows themselves to be led by their emotions will fly off the handle and say things in reaction and response to their emotion.
They may become aggressive and unreasonable when this happens. Why? They are gratifying their anger and not practicing self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.
When we allow ourselves to be led by our emotions we are not practicing self-control. And since self-control is a fruit of the spirit, we are not being led by the spirit when our emotions get the best of us.
Another way we react to our emotions is when we listen to a Sarah McLachlan song and all of sudden we want to buy a dog. Or we pick up the phone and donate money we don’t have to the dog charity.
Again, we react to what we feel.
Of course, those are just some examples.
So, I’m going to let you in on my personal rule to avoiding reacting to my emotions and it’s this: Don’t make a decision with tears coming down your cheeks.
In other words, I will not make any decisions if I’m crying, fuming or cowering. If my body is responding to an emotion, I will not make a decision until logic has re-entered the scene. Otherwise, I’m allowing my emotions to dictate my decisions.
Another way we gratify the flesh by being led by our emotions is …
2) We regret. Have you ever regretted the words you said in anger? I know I have. There are so many verses in the Bible about anger and fear because those two emotions, when dealt with wrongly, can bring terrible consequences.
We don’t have time to list all of the verses about anger and fear, but in a nutshell, anger can bring so many regrets because of words we spew and aggressive behavior. It can ruin relationships and in Proverbs, the Bible tells us to stay away from hot tempered people because they are unpredictable.
Fear keeps us from living life. We react in fear by becoming paralyzed to it and in many ways our fears are irrational. That’s why fear is detrimental to each human being. If there is a regret at the end of our lives it’s mostly over how we treated others we love or because fear held us back.
You have to ask yourself, “When the feeling fades, do I regret the decision I made?”
Again, these things are fueled by emotions. So, are you being led by your emotions or are you being led by the Spirit regardless of how you feel?
Here are 3 ways to know if you’re being led by the Spirit or your emotions:
- Are your decisions based on God’s leading or your emotions? Let me let you in on a hard truth … God doesn’t always ask us to do things that make us feel good. In a lot of ways, what God asks of us is really hard. It goes against our human nature.
For example, Jesus tells us to love our enemies. When we are led by emotion, we tend to dislike our enemies. Anger gets the best of us. It takes being led by the Spirit in order to love those who wrong us.
God calls us to do things that cause fear. Gideon was called to lead an army against the Midianites and he was afraid. But remember, fear wants to cripple us and keep us from moving forward. Courage causes us to face our fears and take action.
Again, these things are hard. They require the strength of God to go against what we feel because emotions are STRONG.
2) Am I easily swayed and persuaded when emotions are involved? I want to give you an example of how powerful emotions are by using voting as an example.
In a Gallup poll, the majority of people in our country are against assisted suicide. When you word a poll using the verbiage assisted suicide, more people will vote against it.
But if you use the verbiage that the patients life will end in some painless means, the favor shockingly goes up. Why? Because when certain words are used, emotion is attached and it sways the people.
That is why we must be anchored in our beliefs, so that we are not swayed by our emotions.
3) Do you spend time with the Lord and pray about your emotions? If you look to God for His guidance and be honest with Him about how you feel, you will be less likely to be led by your emotions. If not, how can you be led by the Spirit if you are not spending time with the Spirit of God? You can’t.
So, let’s go back to the 6 basic emotions we feel and evaluate how the Bible says to handle them:
Anger: It is not wrong to be angry. It’s what we do in our anger that can get us into trouble. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not make room for the devil.”
God gives us permission to feel. He gives us permission to wrestle with our anger, but He wants us to deal with it quickly and not let it go into the next day. Why? Because we give the enemy an opportunity to sew seeds of bitterness and discord in our relationships when we do.
And God is serious about right relationships.
Happiness: A lot of people have a hard time understanding the difference between happiness and joy. I found a great explanation of it on compassion.com, so I thought I’d share it with you.
This is what it says ….
“Despite the different perspectives, the idea that holds greater sway today is that happiness depends on external factors to exist. Happiness happens to us. Even though we may seek it, desire it, pursue it, etc., feeling happiness is not a choice we make.
Joy, on the other hand, is a choice purposefully made. Joy is an attitude of the heart and spirit, present inside of us as an untapped reservoir of potential.
It’s possible to feel joy in difficult times. Joy doesn’t need a smile in order to exist, although it does feels better with one. Joy can share its space with other emotions – sadness, shame or anger. Happiness can’t.
Happiness is not present in darkness and difficulty. Joy never leaves it. Joy undergirds our spirits; it brings to life peace and contentment.
Joy requires a connection. Often the connection is with other people, but it can also be with pets, creation, creativity, etc. Joy is present. In the moment. Happiness mostly just passes through.
And Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” It’s what gets us through difficult times.
Fear: There is healthy fear and then there’s irrational fear. Healthy fear causes us to use disruption and wise judgment. But it doesn’t cripple us or cause us to become anxious and not live life to its fullest.
Unhealthy fear is not something God wants us to feel. There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about how to defeat fear. And God tells us He didn’t give us the spirit of fear. Fear is crippling and in this case it’s irrational.
My youngest was afraid the other day because he said he thinks me and his dad will leave him so he struggles to sleep at night. That’s completely irrational because I know I will never leave him. But to him, it’s a real emotion and it cripples him and robs him of his peace.
We must deal with fear and if you want an exhaustive list of verses on fear, look them up in a concordance or do a Google search and you will find plenty.
You can also reach out to me and I can help you with some resources too. I got you! That’s what I’m here for.
That brings us back to courage, which I touched on briefly .. but courage is not the opposite of fear. Courage is action in the face of fear. It doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid, it means we won’t allow fear to back us into a corner and keep us from moving forward.
Sadness: For sadness we are told by God that He will comfort us. He brings us peace and when we are close to Him, we are able to better manage this emotion. This applies to grief and sorrow as well. This emotion is very powerful and can even pull us into depression. That is why we need to deal with sadness and make sure we receive comfort from God, His word and the people in our lives.
The last two are disgust and surprise. I feel like these are the lesser of the emotions because they are not as common as the others. Surprise can mean we are caught off guard, but during these times we remember God knows everything and nothing surprises Him. He is always in control.
If we look at the fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, we see that these fruits actually help us deal with our emotions and bring them back to a level where we are controlling them instead of them controlling us.
That is why making sure we are being led by the Spirit is important. The fruits of the Spirit anchor us and keep us from being swayed by our emotions.
I don’t know about you, but I hate when I’m on an emotional roller coaster. I don’t want to be up and down or wonder how I’m going to feel tomorrow.
Let’s close today’s episode with a quote I posted on Instagram a few months ago. The quote is, “Just because you cried doesn’t mean it was God.”
In other words, when you go to a conference, church service, or anything else and it moves you to tears … it doesn’t mean God was in it.
I’ve been to women’s events where the speaker tries to muster up emotion because it is a known fact that if people feel emotion, they feel they’ve experienced. That applies to God too. And it’s just not true.
God will move us to tears. God’s presence moves me all the time. But that’s the order it should be … God moves and then we move. Not the other way around. Emotional events don’t equate a life change. We can hear God speak to us and never cry. And there are times when God tells us to stop crying and move on.
He told Samuel this when God removed Saul from office as King. Samuel cried and mourned for him and God finally told him to wipe his tears and move on. There’s time to mourn … to cry … and there’s a time to wipe the tears and act.
The wisdom to know the difference is given by the Holy Spirit as He leads us.
Again, don’t allow your emotions to lead you and don’t think that because someone moved your emotions you’ve had a life changing experience. Only God can do that as He transforms your life.
If you have any questions about this topic or need any clarification on anything bible and life related … send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to answer back.
Until then, I’ll catch you next week for a brand new episode and don’t forget .. season 2 is only a few days away!