In Between Pt. 2
Monday Morning Commentary
This week Pastor Chad continued our Emotions series with In Between Pt. 2. In Between Pt. 1 taught us how not to live suppressing our emotions or being a slave to them. The key is to express emotion and at the same time remain faithful to obey what God commands regardless of what we are feeling.
In between pt. 2 addressed living in a state where our emotions are in between extreme highs and extreme lows. The truth is we cannot fully control what we are feeling. Emotions always have a cause whether we are aware of them or not. When we take the time to evaluate our emotions, they come from at least one of these four areas of life: circumstantial, relational, spiritual, or personal.
Understanding God’s wisdom for each of these areas is key to emotional health. Many times the source of emotional unrest in our lives is confusion over what we can control and/or influence in these areas.
Did you know there is a difference between control and influence? Control is to dominate, command, hold in check, or curb. Influence is the capacity to be a compelling force on or produce effects on actions, behavior, opinions, etc. of others.
Many times our emotions continually swing because we are trying to control things we have little or no control over. The circumstantial area of life tends to be the area we can least control, yet how much time do we focus on circumstances or complain about them.
The relational and spiritual categories of our lives can certainly be influenced by us, yet they cannot be controlled. Many times we are stressed out because we are trying to influence people that do not want to be influenced by us. We have a certain degree of influence over others, and it is wisdom to discern it.
The personal area of our lives we have the most control over. We control what we eat, how much we sleep, and how much we exercise. We control what we say and do. It is easy to fall into blaming others for what is in our personal domain to control.
Taking responsibility for what we can control, using our influence for what is actually in our capacity to influence, and letting go of what we have no control or influence over is key to emotional stability in these areas.
We cannot fully control our emotions or even what thoughts pop into our heads, but we can choose what we dwell on knowing that Christ is the hope of our soul who keeps us from swinging too far.
What do we do when we are dealing with others or circumstances that are consistently inconsistent? Genesis 31:44 shows us how God gave Jacob wisdom to put a heap of stones between him and his uncontrollable father in law. We can control the personal area of our lives and put stones of exercise, good eating habits, limits on our commitments, and our time with God, etc. between us and life. These stones point to the fact that we have an anchor Jesus Christ who provides all things.
This week take the time to evaluate which area of life is giving you the most stress whether its circumstantial, relational, spiritual, or personal. Ask God to give you wisdom to discern what you can control vs. influence. Allow him to build more stones between you and the cares of this world.