Emotional instability

We all go through times like this. You feel edgy, tense, like if someone said the wrong thing (or maybe just ANY thing) to you, you’d snap on them. Sometimes it is physically related (from exhaustion or illness), sometimes it is emotionally related (hormonal or from anxiety). I found myself right in the middle of this situation this afternoon. The question is: WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS??

Well, we DO have some choices. We can:

  • give in to our emotional unrest and SNAP
  • tell everyone to stay out of our way or they’ll be hurt!
  • continue to seethe, letting our irritation bubble to the surface
  • take ourselves away from everyone and do what we need to to get in control

Romans 12:2 is so appropriate here.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

We are encouraged to “vent” our frustrations. The problem is, when a pot of hot water is “vented” it will continue to bubble up and boil over if something is not CHANGED in the situation! When we “vent” our anger or irritation, we are spilling our guck onto others – causing US to feel better, for a time. But without a changed attitude, we merely use that “venting” as a means of practicing our anger and it will repeat this scenario again, and again, and again.

So, what ARE we to do? Back to Romans 12:2 — we are to be TRANSFORMED by the — here it comes: RENEWING OF OUR MIND. Now, I’m sure we all know that the Greek word for transformed is the word that our word metamorphosis comes from. It means to be completely changed from one thing to another; like the butterfly from the caterpillar. There is no resemblance between the two after the metamorphosis is complete.

BUT the Greek word for renew is just as sweet; it means “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better”. Sometimes we think it means to go back to what we had before. But it means to completely change for the better. There is an aspect of POSITIVE and HEALTHY change – not just change for the sake of change. So this verse TWICE talks about radical change, but the focus is on godly holy change.

It all comes back to what we believe and whom we trust. Are we laying our lives down at the foot of the cross and surrendering control of our wants, desires and even our emotions to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit? Or are we letting them rule our lives – to our own destruction or the destruction of those around us?

So, maybe it’s time to take that deep breath (and count if that is a good practice to slow down our minds and emotions enough) and TURN TO GOD. We do not HAVE to sin in emotional responses. We CAN allow the Spirit to work His perfect transforming power in our lives.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7


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4 Comments

  1. Thank you Kate for the reminder of what God’s will is for me as I’m usually the one who vents and spews to any and all who will listen!! Please pray that I remember Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you have only to be silent” I’m willing to have Him fight for me, but I’m going to complain, whine and generally become the “martyr” in whatever the situation is!

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  2. Thanks for sharing that, Stephanie. It really is so hard for us to keep our hearts focused on JOY in the midst of our trials, isn’t it? But it really is so true that “the joy of the Lord is your strength”!! I will pray that the Lord will keep that Exodus verse ever in the FRONT of your mind as you watch and see the deliverance of our God in all your trials.

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  3. Sometimes I wonder if all the depression that overtakes us at time is directly related to how we are managing our anger?

    Love in Christ
    bwsmith

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  4. Barbara, I think that is a very insightful observation and one that I’ve often pondered myself!

    Reply

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