Moms, you know that moment when someone comes to you and says or does something that either shocks you, makes you mad, or catches you so off guard that your emotions take over. The knee-jerk reaction we give in response is anything but wholesome and the raging emotions can set the par for the rest of your day or evening. My husband constantly tells me in the heat of the moment that I am drunk on my emotions and asks to discuss the situation later after I’ve had some time to think. Sometimes even him saying that makes me even hotter under the collar and I erupt like Mount Vesuvius leaving behind a lake of boiling lava in the aftermath of my emotional tirade. After I’ve had time to soak everything in, I’m remorseful and wish I had listened to his request.
We’ve all been there and done that however it never makes it right. It seems more often than not we (myself included) use our emotions to justify our outbursts. Placing blame on the one who caused the emotion to rise is easy and the normal thing to do however it doesn’t mean I should react that way. In my justification to say I was right, I gained a new perspective and wanted to share with you the wisdom gained and am learning to incorporate in the battle of my emotions.
1. I say battle because it is. We all can react to something in the heat of the moment whether over literal spilled milk, bad grades, or the hormonal attitude of others (ourselves included). However in battle, we need to know who we are up against. It is not the person standing in front of us as I once thought. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
In battle, strategic plans are put in place and armor put on to protect them in their covert operations and we should too. What weapons do we have at hand to combat our emotions as we feel them on the rise? Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” This is not a literal armor but a supernatural one as we deal with the situations before us.
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.“
2. Examine protocol – Sometimes as mommas we need to decipher who we are letting control the situation? Is it our fleshy desires of justification or the Holy Spirit?
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you”
2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
3. Listen to Reason – When someone points out that you indeed need to get a handle on your emotions before conversation can continue, don’t become angry. They love you and are trying to help. They are not against you. I speak from experience…….(lots of it in this area).
“People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
but those who ignore correction will go astray”
4. Check yourself before you wreck yourself – It is considered normal to blame others for our shortfalls and our sin, but we need to realize its our sin nature that causes us to go this route. Not those standing before or within earshot but us only. What the other person may have done or said may have hurt deeply and you feel justified to react. I know that all to well. However, if we ask the Holy Spirit for discernment we gain a new perspective and see through different eyes and hear with different ears our fault in the matter at hand.
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
Proverbs 15:14 NIV
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye“
Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
5. Gain Strategic Perspective – Some of our emotions are fueled by false truths and negative thoughts we like to entertain. We need a strategic plan to gain a new perspective in measuring our thoughts and taking them captive in Christ. I like using Philippians 4:8-9 which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” If it is not from the Father, I should not entertain it nor give it the attention I originally deemed necessary.
“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
6. Seek Shelter and Rest – Sometimes the cause of all our emotional drunkenness is plain old tiredness. When my children were younger, I put them down for naps when they were overly emotional and it is no different for us. Take time, collect yourself, not all things need discussed in the heat of the moment. It okay to ask if the conversation can happen once you have your emotions in check. Sometimes taking time to rest and reflect is all that is needed to have a conversation with open hearts and minds receptive to each other
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”
7. Start Training – Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
God put into place everything we need to do battle, we just need to start implementing it into our training. In my efforts to prove my husband wrong and to place blame on him, God gave me insight to the error of my ways and gave me plenty of food to take in along the way. Every season of life brings its struggles, emotions and battles but I’m learning Christ does life better. Take hold of Christ! He gives wisdom and grace as we learn to control our emotions in the Spirit and through the lessons that unfold in them.
Galatians 5:16-24 NLT
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”