Jill Jarrell Newsome
"Psst, your crazy is showing. Might want to tuck that back in!" I saw this recently and thought about how many times I needed to hear that. It's like it's ok to have some of the feelings we have but we still have to behave. As I used to say, "that behavior is out of line!' We are going to have anger, fear, joy, anxiety, sadness, surprise, disgust, etc. That is part of being human but we have to stay "in line." Outbursts, as many mothers say, cannot be tolerated. It seems I see that more and more in adults - not little kids! Our emotional responses are just that, responses, we cannot let them be a fixed disposition.
I heard a saying, "The torrent of anger could quietly flow inside the girl, but the dam of outward restraint must hold." Matthew 5: 21-22, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell."
Emotions can be appropriate or inappropriate, just or unjust, rational or irrational. And I think we have to go through these emotions - just not stay there. It was ok for me to express sadness when my father died. But I could not let that sadness take over me to the point of being envious of a friend who still has her father. I could be sad about losing a job but I cannot stay there and be envious of someone who is thriving at their job. God can help us "train" our emotions. He wants us to be obedient - even in our heart. Romans 6: 17, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance." He tells us what we must do. Romans 12: 9, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Even if we are doing good on the outside, our hearts need to be right. Then we are sincere. When we are angry we are told to not let the sun go down on it. Ephesians 4; 26, "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry..." He even tells us what to do when we are anxious. Philippians 4: 6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Our outward behavior is meaningless if, inside, we are full of emotional filth. Matthew 23: 27, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean." God knows our heart and He will help us train these emotions if we let Him. Romans 8: 27, "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." God doesn't just teach us restraint, He transforms our hearts! He commands new emotions and He gives what He commands! Do not be a slave to your emotions! Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions. If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do! Let God transform you!