Human emotions are the topic of discussion around the country today; universities are trying to come up with programs to teach students how to deal with their emotions and how to deal with the emotions of others.
Some of us want to keep our emotions under wraps and never share them. We want to keep our emotions bottled up inside, because that is the way we were raised. This is especially true with men; most of us were raised not to show emotions, to be as emotionless as possible.
Others of us seem to be willing to let our emotions run wild; and in some cases, some of us are so overly emotional that it appears as if we cannot control our emotions.
We must address two basic questions when it comes to our emotions. First, is it ok to be open with our emotions? Second, is there a way to keep our emotions from controlling our lives?
Concerning the first question, is it truly ok to be open with our emotions? Yes, in fact it is important that we are able to share how we feel with those closest to us, especially when we are facing an important issue or potentially life-changing situation.
Jesus often shared his emotions with those closest to Him. In the New Testament, there are numerous stories of how Jesus openly showed His emotions, such as the time in the Temple when He displayed anger over the moneychangers, and when He shed tears over the death of His friend Lazarus.
Chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew contains several stories about Jesus on the days prior to his death made several statements that clearly showed He knew what was coming. Now He did not make overly dramatic statements, but the statements He made expressed some emotional concern on His part. In verse 2 He said “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion”, when I read that, it makes me think of how a person must feel who has been sentenced to death and knows the execution date is nearing. There has to be a feeling of depression closing in and that would have to be frustrating.
In verses 6 through 13, another example shows, when a woman came to Him with a vial of a very expensive perfume and anointed him. His apostles became indignant and scolded the woman because they believed that the woman should have sold the oil and the money used to help the poor. Jesus in turn scolded them, telling them to back off. After all the woman had done something nice for Him and there is a key line when He says ‘she did it to prepare Me for burial’; personally I detect a sense of melancholy in that statement and again I think of the condemned man.
In verses 14 through 19, again Jesus brings up His approaching death, when as Passover gets closer and closer and He says in verse 18, “My time is near”. In verse 25 at the supper, Jesus confronts Judas and with a voice that seems filled with resignation, He lets Judas know that Jesus is aware that he is about to be betrayed and who will be His betrayer.
Finally starting in verse 36, Jesus and His disciples go to Gethsemane and He tells all of His disciples except Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to wait for Him and then in Matthew 26:38 “Then He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” His soul is deeply grieved; He is distraught and He shares His emotions with His closest companions.
Once we recognize that a situation has turned emotional, we have to seek out the best way to keep our emotions from controlling us. When we are facing situations that have us worried, or sad, or angry, or frustrated, or depressed, when we face anything that has us in turmoil it is important that we seek out someone to talk with. If we do not, if we try to bottle our emotions inside and keep them buried, it will backfire.
At that point, our emotions take over control of our actions instead of our actions controlling our emotions. Is there a way we keep our emotions from controlling our actions? As I said, do not let the anger inside sit and fester; do not try to keep pushing it down, deal with it head on. Paul writes in Ephesians chapter 4, verses 26-27, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
If there is nobody that we feel comfortable speaking with, then we can always turn to God and talk with Him. He already knows the situation we are facing. He is ready for us to ask Him for help because He knows that when we get angry, when we get frustrated, when we allow our emotions to take control of our lives, we lose control of our lives.
Once we lose control of our lives, that is the perfect time for Satan to make his appearance, once we let Satan control our lives, our thoughts, and our actions it becomes more and more difficult to live the life that God wants us to live. We cannot afford to open that door, when we begin to feel our emotions boiling over that is a perfect time to ask God to come into our lives and have Him take control and help us reign in those feelings.
Try this simple prayer –“Dear Heavenly Father, I know that you are in charge of the Universe. I know that you have a grand plan for us. I believe that you sent your Son, my Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ to live and walk among us and to die for us. I believe that you raised Him from the grave and that He sits at your right hand. Father, I ask that you send the Holy Spirit into my life whenever I begin to feel my emotions taking control of my life. Thank you – Amen.”