We all have emotions. Some are good and some are bad. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word emotion means “a strong feeling such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear. It also means “a state of feeling, and a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.”
Emotions occur when something changes in our lives, and we are either excited or disgruntled. Emotions are only positive when we have self-control. Self-control helps us keep our emotions in check, and allows us to walk in the spirit rather than our flesh. Self-control is defined as “the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.” Some of the words that describe self-control are self-discipline, restraint, willpower, composure, coolness, and temperance. Self-control is one of the hardest fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to live by, because it takes us getting out of our flesh and living for God. It is a lifestyle that we must all live by as Christians.
In the verses before Galatians 5:22-23, the Bible states that our emotions can lead to sin. In verses 16 – 21, it warns us about living in the flesh and not by the Spirit.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Unhealthy emotions lead us to anger, jealousy, envy, and so forth. These kind of emotions cause us to hold grudges, to be selfish, and to act in sinful ways. Proverbs 25:28 describes “a person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” If we do not have self-control over our emotions, we are like a broken city with destruction all around us.
This week evaluate your emotional state and see if it lines up with God’s Word. Are your emotions in check or are they out of control? Our emotions can be described as a volcano about to erupt. When our emotions are running rampant, we do not think logically. We live by our emotions and not realize the destruction we may cause if they erupt all at one time. Recently, I was reminded to think before you react. The next time you feel emotional, step back and wait until you can think logically. Do not act on your emotions. I encourage you to pray before you speak or act and allow God to guide your steps.