I had been brought up within my home and church to disregard my feelings. Looking back I sense this strain of thought came from my grandfather who was of a dour Scottish disposition. Being brought up in a small conservative country town emotions were to be kept under ones hat. Therefore when the charismatic movement swept through New Zealand in the early 70's it took a long time for me to break down my stoic attitude. But the Holy Spirit having baptized me with his presence one lunch time began the journey of releasing the inner me.
I tell this story as a way of introducing that our emotions and feelings cannot be denied for they are a diagnostic tool to gauge our spiritual walk. Secondly as our emotions are so closely linked to our thoughts they provide a ready doorway into our mind.
The Bible speaks of the renewing of our mind, which for many born again believers has never taken place, for such believers are still infants in the faith. Our minds are still filled with the wisdom of this world, with vain imaginations, with thoughts contrary to God's word. Many of us are double minded as our thinking is not under the obedience of Christ.
The Bible tells is to be sober minded and to have the mind of Christ. This to me tells me that we are to walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. There is a telling verse in the one of Paul's letters that says 'those that are led by the spirit are sons/daughters of God.' To me this is having a sober mind; not double minded.
To check my spiritual mindset I often use this three point check of my emotions. When I realize that I am not loving, not joyous and at peace then I pull my thoughts up quickly for such an emotional state indicates a 'spiritually sick mode of thinking. When I am loving, joyous and at peace then the mind of Christ rules in my thinking. For then I know, that I have found 'Wisdom' that the book of Proverbs speaks of which is ruling my heart.
Take the pulse of your emotions and tell yourself; what is the diagnosis. If they indicate a mind not yielding to the will of God pull yourself up quick and choose to think scriptural thoughts. The Holy Spirit cannot change the way you think without your permission. There is a verse in Proverbs that speaks so strongly that there is life and death in our words; words which are formed in our mind.
Use our emotions to change our manner of thinking for there are times when a rash word can escape our lips indicating a non loving feeling. Other times our thinking can be deceived by the enemy and our emotions do not reflect peace. Or because the wisdom in our hearts is not from God we have lost the joy of the Lord.
Prayer - Help me Father to have a sober mind, self controlled when my emotions take me out from under your presence. Give me spiritual ears to discern the thoughts of my heart and if need be wield the spirit of truth that cuts to the deepest parts of my heart. Give me the boldness to rise up in Christ and be the conqueror that you have called me to be. Amen
Scriptures to fill our thoughts
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:8
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, Proverbs 3:13
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 byBiblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I am part of an ethnic group that is known for being a bit... stoic. Something went awry with me however. I blame it on the fact that the gene pool got "contaminated" by the introduction of non-Scandinavians into the family. No one has ever wondered about my feelings. I have the opposite problem in that I have needed to learn how to be a bit less... exuberant.
You are right, we need to pay close attention to our emotions. They say a lot about our relationship with God and we must learn how to both express them and control them.
There is a proper time... it seems to me... to share personal information about ourselves, and when that proper time comes, it's personal information like you've shared here that glorifies God and uplifts the soul which, in turn, inspires readers to strive to follow the wisdom the writer has gained from his/her background experiences. I especially like what I've highlighted below from your blog. Thank you, wmj!
"I tell this story as a way of introducing that our emotions and feelings cannot be denied for they are a diagnostic tool to gauge our spiritual walk. Secondly as our emotions are so closely linked to our thoughts they provide a ready doorway into our mind."
Being part Indian and part Irish I can go from silent to over the top in seconds. Our emotions are part of the "image and likeness" and you are so right we have to practice and learn to keep them in check. It is under our control to do so.
Excellent blog brother.
Well, you didn't need many words to come out with this very powerful blog, John. Thank you!
Really needed this today when it popped up in the sponsored blogs. Thank you