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Emotions, Self-Control & Disobedience

Photos of Grayson & Graham Harper, five-year old twins, courtesy of Debbie Reynolds Harper.

My Friend Debbie     Emotions are important and designed by God to allow us to vent our feelings. It's good to cry when you're sad or laugh when you're happy, but sometimes we let our emotions get carried away and behave inappropriately. Some responses include yelling, screaming, pouting or crying uncontrollably. Other reactions can include laughing too loud or too long in a way that becomes obnoxious to others around us. Extreme reactions include tantrums, speaking out to hurt someone, or striking another, and are not acceptable at any time.

     Emotions are defined as, "strong feelings or a mental and bodily reaction, such as anger or fear accompanied by strong feelings," according to Webster's dictionary. The key to emotional well- being lies in self-control and in obedience. You can either learn to rule over your emotions, or they will rule over you.

     Self Control is listed with the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22-23 and is available to us. The fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The fruit of self-control along with obedience to others who have authority in our lives will allow us to rule over our emotions and not allow them to rule over us! Our lack of self control and disobedience causes trouble for us and others. I will give you two examples from the Bible that will illustrate my point.

My Friend Debbie"Flee for your lives! Don't look back!" Then in verse 26 it says, "But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." She was destroyed due to her disobedience and lack of self-control.

     The second example from Scripture describes Jonah being swallowed by the whale (or "great fish" as the Word says). In the book of Jonah, God tells Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and preach against it. Jonah decides to disobey God and sail away. A giant storm arises threatening to kill all the people on board the ship. Jonah confesses his disobedience and asks to be thrown overboard. The other men in the ship reluctantly throw Jonah into the sea, which becomes calm. God sends a great fish to swallow or imprison Jonah. Gross! Jonah lived inside of this great fish for three whole days. Can you imagine the smell, the cold wetness, and the lonely darkness? He must have suffered greatly. And to top it all off, Jonah 2:10 says, "And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land." Chapter 3:1-3 gives an accurate picture of the lesson that Jonah had learned:

     "Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:"Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh."

My Friend Debbie      So, what do you do when you start to feel as if you're going to lose it? First, stop before you make a bad decision and think about the situation. What might you be doing wrong or inappropriately? Then remember these stories I've shared with you and chose to obey God. And above all else, take a quick moment to pray, asking the Lord for His help. He will never let you down and that's a promise.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Christina Messer

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