by Joyce Meyer
We all have emotions, and they’re here to stay. I believe one of the main goals of every believer should be emotional stability. We should seek God to learn how to manage our emotions and not allow them to manage us. An excerpt from the definition I found in the dictionary states that emotions are “to excite and to move out.” Think about this: You’re out shopping for a specific item you’re in need of. You’ve made a commitment to the Lord to get out of debt. You’ve promised Him to tithe and give offerings as He directs. You’ve agreed to really watch your spending and not purchase things you don’t need. But while shopping, you discover that the stores are having a big sale of 50 percent off the already marked down merchandise. What do you do? You get excited. The more you look around, the more excited you get. Emotions are rising higher and higher. They begin to move out, and part of the devil’s plan is for you to follow your emotions.
God wants you to use wisdom. Wisdom says wait a little while until the emotions settle down, then check to see if you really believe it’s the right thing to do. The Bible says in Colossians 3:15 to be led by peace in making decisions. Don’t let your emotions make your decisions. A good statement to remember is this: “Wisdom says wait; emotions say hurry.”
An emotional person is defined as: “One easily affected with or stirred by emotion; one who displays emotion; one with a tendency to rely on or place too much value on emotion; one whose conduct is ruled by emotion rather than reason.” Be honest with yourself in this area. If you believe that you’re not managing your emotions, begin to pray and seek God for emotional maturity.
In the past I experienced a lot of ups and downs, or what we call mood swings. This kind of behavior was hard on me, as well as everyone around me. I felt bad about myself. People who are out of control always feel unhappy with themselves. God created us to operate with a free will. We choose what we will do and what we won’t do. There is a God-given desire inside the believer to do the right thing. When we allow our flesh to rule, we know we’re out of control; however, we’re created to operate with the fruit of self-control.
Self-control is a freedom, not a bondage. You’re free to use wisdom, free to obey God, and free to follow the leading of the Spirit. You’re free not to be pushed around by your feelings. You don’t have to do what you feel like doing. You’re free to do what you know is wise.
Self-control will help you feel better about yourself. When I was experiencing so many ups and downs, it also made me physically tired. It takes a lot of energy to go through all kinds of emotional changes. I noticed that as God helped me learn to manage my emotions, I also had more energy. Maybe you should stop and ask the Lord if that’s why you’ve been so tired lately. Do you let your emotions manage you?
My moods were hard on my family too. After I was well on my way to emotional stability, my husband, Dave, revealed a secret. He told me that during the years I was emotionally unstable, while he would be driving down the highway after work at night, he would ponder the thought, I wonder what she will be like tonight? It’s really very sad to imagine a person in that kind of situation. My husband has always been very stable, and it’s very comforting to live with someone you can depend on to be steady and in control all the time. He was very happy for me, and himself also, when I began getting victory in this area. Children also need a stable atmosphere to grow up in. Stability is really an important issue for all of us.
Jesus is referred to as “The Rock.” You can depend on Him to be stable—the same Jesus all the time, always faithful, loyal, true to His Word and mature. He’s not one way one time and another way the next time.
Jeremiah 17:8 and Psalm 1:3 both instruct us to be like trees firmly planted. First Peter 5:8-9 teaches us to be well-balanced and temperate (self-controlled) to keep Satan from devouring us. To withstand him, it says to be rooted, established, strong, immovable and determined. Philippians 1:28 tells us to be constantly fearless when Satan comes against us. Psalm 94:13 says God wants to give us power to stay calm in adversity. All of these scriptures are referring to being stable.
I’m going to close with these statements for your consideration:
1. He who lives by emotions lives without principle.
2. We cannot be spiritual (walk in the spirit) and be led by emotions.
3. Emotions won’t go away, but you can learn to manage them.
4. You can have emotions, but you can’t always rely on them.
Make emotional maturity a primary goal in your life!
This article is taken from Joyce’s audio teaching, Understanding and Overcoming Depression.