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How do you handle your emotions? Do you feel like you are an emotional basket case? Do you feel like you are emotionally empty? Do you feel like your emotions define you? Have you been told that as a woman you just need to get over your emotions?

Let’s look at a few things together.

Emotions are part of the creation.

We are made in the image of God. Part of that involves love and compassion, mercy and joy. These are all emotions and no one thinks they are bad things. They are part of being made in God’s image. God is an emotional God and the fact that we have emotions is because of who HE is. The problems we have in our lives are not because we EXPERIENCE emotions, the problems come from how we EXPRESS emotions.

Over the years I’ve found that there are 3 ways we generally handle our emotions – all of which are unhealthy. And there is 1 way we can handle our emotions and the only way that can actually result in growth and healing in our lives.

We generally either:

  • stuff
  • stir
  • store

If we stuff our emotions, we pretend they don’t exist.

We hold them in very tight check, thinking that we are keeping them under control. All we are doing is holding them down. Think of a ball that is being held under water. When you finally let it go, it BURSTS forth with far more force than it took to hold under…bringing destruction in its wake.

If we stuff our emotions, we pretend they don't exist. If we stir up our emotions, we make them bigger than they are.

We practice them, we tell them to everyone around us, we light a fire under them. Think of a kettle of water; sitting on the stove top it is quiet and sedate but light a fire under it, stir the flame up beneath it and it soon becomes volatile with steam spurting out all over, burning anything in its path.

If we stir up our emotions, we make them bigger than they are.

If we store our emotions, we hold on to them and let them define us.

We convince ourselves we are justified in what we feel and how it makes us think. We tell others we have a right to how we act because of what we feel. We hold on to every hurt we’ve every suffered and take them out to look at and remember. We stay stuck in emotional infancy, never learning that our feelings do not have to dictate our actions. And we push others away by our immaturity and self-centeredness.

If we store our emotions, we hold on to them and let them define us. Surrendering our emotions.

BUT if we surrender our emotions to the Spirit, we come to the only path to wholeness, to health and to peace in our lives. It comes down to allow the Lord to sift and purify what we feel and help us learn to let Him work it through in our hearts. When we learn to surrender, we learn to trust in God’s work, trust in God’s sovereignty and trust in God’s timing in our lives. Our emotions no longer become about how WE are affected, they are transformed into showing us how to respond in God’s love to those around us. We become FREE to walk in the power of the Spirit, rather than in bondage to our flesh.

So, how do you deal with your emotions? Are you a stuffer, a stirrer or a storer?

Or are you on the path to learning surrender and allowing God to transform your emotions into fuel for the Spirit to work through you? If you are like me, you are a combination – but I pray we may each learn to walk in greater surrender to experience His joy!

All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com

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