The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Dealing with emotions
Like the majority of women my life tends to be a roller-coaster of emotions. Yet I know that my emotions are not to be trusted. There are so many things that influence how I feel at any given moment. Some influences are external, like the weather, my relationship with my husband or letters from family back in Scotland. Other influences are internal, like hormones, too little sleep or enough food in my stomach. No matter what is influencing how I feel, it is still my responsibility ow I choose to respond.
One of my big problems is an overdeveloped sense of justice. This will generally cause me to over-react at anything I see as unjust. I had one such experience this week. I took on another person's fight and found myself also taking on their anger. At first I was actually shaking, the feeling was so intense. I knew this was something I could not deal with on my own. Always when I find myself overwhelmed by other people's emotions I know I have to give it back to the Lord.
I go back to the fundamentals I was taught many years ago. I have to understand the aim of my life and the cost involved.
Firstly I am called to holiness.
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15,16
God is more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. Conflicts in my life can show me which character qualities I am in need of developing.
Secondly I am called to suffer.
"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," 2 Timothy 1:8,9
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" 1 Peter 2:21
The more Godly I seek to be, the more I will endure suffering. The closer I walk with God the more sensitive I become to what is right, and the more I stand out as a target for others.
The I am called to bear fruit.
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15:2
"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." John 15:8
The more I respond correctly to suffering the more the Holy Spirit can work in me to produce fruit. In order to bear much fruit, I am purged. Being purged is a painful process. I am no different to anyone else, in that I don't enjoy being purged. Yet it is a vital process for my own growth.
The calling to holiness is something to be taken very seriously. It is connected to being full of the Holy Spirit. Being full of the Holy Spirit is more about how much of me does the Holy Spirit have, rather than me getting more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants me to yield every single area of my life, nothing held back.
I gain this fullness of the Holy Spirit by being tested by the Holy Spirit. I need to anticipate that I will be tested. Trials and testing are what prepares me for my unique ministry. It is a means of the Holy Spirit to give me power and deepen my faith. This reminder of the battle against anger that I received this week has directed me back to precious passages of Scripture that helped me when I first started to battle this issue. I have once again been reminded to subject my emotions to my will, and my will to be surrendered to God's Word.
I need to respond with joyfulness and thankfulness, and with crying out to the Lord.
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I am reminded that in overcoming testing I must give thanks in everything.
It comes from God's hands, and God is good.
God is sovereign (Romans 8:28)
It is ultimately for my good.
It can produce the character of Christ in me.
It teaches me God's ways. (Isaiah 55:8; Psalm 119:71)
If I respond correctly it will bring me peace. (John 14:27)
I need to find reasons to rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
God can do great things in me when I have an attitude of rejoicing.
I need to quench the firey darts of the enemy.
I need to wear the shield of faith from Ephesians 6:16
I am to take the armour of God and put it on firmly. I take up the shield of faith by quoting God's truth. Therefore I need to spend time in God's Word.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Corinthians 10:5
"Let our conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
Living God's way is impossible without His strength and aide. Therefore I need to cry out for deliverance.
"And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 50:15
Finally I need to overcome evil with good.
"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:9
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; "Matthew 5:44
The more I invest in my enemies the more my heart will be turned towards them. In this day and age of hatred this is where true witnessing takes place, by being willing to stand against the flow and love instead of hate.
I have a choice no matter what emotion I am feeling. I have a choice to do things my way, or do things God's way. May I always choose God's way.