Aligning Your EmotionsWritten by Nancy LaPointe
So blessed to share a word from 1:11 Ministries, Deeper Dive Study!
Week 6: Aligning Your Emotions
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
“… taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5
Betrayal, conflict, competition: sometimes relationships are hard. We’ve all been there. Think of someone you really don’t like—maybe someone who has hurt you, or someone you’re in conflict with. Right now, in your emotions you may not have warm, fuzzy feelings toward that person.
Yet you know, as a follower of Jesus, that living out of your emotions would be wrong.
Perhaps your spirit has a very different take on this person than your emotions do. In your spirit, in the redeemed part of your heart, you might love him or her. You might care about this person, see him or her as valuable, and perceive immense potential.
When that person comes around, the war is on: you are divided between flesh and spirit, and the battle is to treat this person in the way your spirit knows is right versus what your emotions want to do.
Emotions are a good gift given to us by an emotional God. When we read Scripture, we meet a God who weeps, laughs, gets angry, feels pleasure, feels pain, and expresses peace and confidence.
Emotions are part of our makeup as creatures made in the image of God. Emotions allow us to experience relationship with God and others to amazing depths, and they make up a huge part of the experience that is our lives.
God’s will is for our emotions to come into alignment with him. We are meant to live fully alive, and that includes full feeling and expression of emotion.
At the same time, emotions by themselves can’t be trusted. Emotions are one of the biggest battlegrounds for spiritual warfare. When the Bible talks about the conflict between the flesh and the spirit, one of the major practical ways that conflict arises is within our emotions.
Sometimes we don’t like people we need to love. Sometimes we want to act out of anger or bitterness. Fear is emotional. Emotionally we may not feel great about ourselves: low self-esteem may be ruling the emotional roost. But none of these emotions tell the truth.
Most people don’t have a compelling reason not to live out of their emotions. But we do have a compelling reason. We need to bring our emotions in line with God.
Gideon felt afraid, but God called him a mighty man of valor. God called him the opposite of what he felt. He was acting out of his emotions (his fear) and he had to act out of God’s truth instead.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, you need to come into agreement with what God says about you. If you don’t like someone else, you need to come into alignment with how God sees them.
This applies to situations too. Carolyn recalls years of teaching ballet that were difficult for various reasons. She decided the difficulties of those years were a training ground for some future purpose, and she would get up every morning and “go to school” to see what God had to teach her.
If you don’t like your situation, ask: Is there something here God has for you? Is this circumstance your portion for right now? What can you find in it to thank God for?
The question isn’t, “How do I feel?”, but “What is the truth?”
We need to choose to stand on and believe truth. Emotions are real, but when they don’t line up with God’s Word, they should not direct how we see and respond to the world.
If your emotions need to come into alignment, here are a few action steps you can take:
1. Change your perception of your situation: it’s a training ground and has a purpose. Come as a learner.
2. Emotions follow thoughts. When your thoughts line up with truth, your emotions will also line up with truth. This is rarely an instant change, but over time, aligning our minds with the Word and will of God will shape our emotions.
3. 1 Thessalonians(NLT) says, “Encourage those who are timid, take tender care of those who are weak, be patient with everyone.” Practice compassion with those who are not emotionally strong—including yourself! An attitude of love, compassion, and understanding—while taking responsibility and not making excuses—will help you bring your emotions into line. Ask the Holy Spirit to come alongside you.
Emotions are good, but like every other part of our lives, they need to be redeemed and transformed by the Spirit of God.
LINK: “It Is Well” - Kristene DiMarco (Bethel Music): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wb_WD1emFQ
DOWNLOAD: Deeper-Dive Study PDF. This PDF includes Scripture references and study questions. Use it to explore the concepts in this lesson in greater depth. We encourage you to journal your answers, thoughts, questions, and prayers as you work through this material.
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