I am so glad that God made us with emotions. When He created us in His image, that image included emotions. The Scriptures tell us that God laughs, grieves, has compassion, sings, and has righteous anger. We can often get confused by our emotions. They feel strong, like they are controlling us, but actually they are fueled by another source – the mind. Emotions are a window into what we’ve been thinking about.
It is interesting to note that we can’t really have the emotion of anger unless we first think thoughts that trigger anger. Emotions are flames that burn in different colors depending on the fuel we’re burning. If we chose to think thoughts of thankfulness, it produces the emotion of gratitude; even tears can come at times. Emotion is only reflecting the thoughts that we are thinking.
Would it not be amazing to control our emotions by controlling our thoughts? In Romans 12:2, Paul pushes us to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds.” When a person exercises the ability to think thoughts that are true, healthy, and godly, the outcome of that exercise will be reflected in that person’s emotions. Much happens in our thoughts that eventually work its way out in our emotions and in our actions.
Let it be known that emotions can be affected by physical conditions such as adrenal dysfunction or even something as common as illness, pain, or fatigue. Most arguments happen in the evening. Why? We are tired, weary, frazzled from events of the day; the mind is weak and often focuses on the wrong fuel – ideas and values that serve self. The ultimate test of godliness is when we are tested by people or circumstances in moments when we are already worn out. Will we have the strength to choose the right thoughts?!
Being th(i)nkful is using your will to push your mind to search for and ponder the right thoughts. As we choose to think thanks, our troubled thoughts are wrestled back to what is good, and ultimately Who is the giver of good things. To the extent we push our minds on this journey, our emotions will tag along.
“My emotions are the fruit, not the root of my thoughts”
Nicolas Ellen, ACBC
Handling Emotions Biblically , Nicolas Ellen ACBC