by Neil Anderson
Being Emotionally Honest
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ
You can guard your intimate relationships by monitoring how you verbally express your emotions to them. For example, you're having a terrible day at the office, so you call home and say to your wife, "Honey, I'm having a bear of a day. I won't be home until about 6:00 p.m. and I have a meeting at church at 7:00. Could you have dinner ready when I get home?"
When you hit the front door you discover that your wife doesn't have dinner ready as you'd hoped. "For crying out loud," you blaze at her, "I wanted dinner ready at six o'clock! That's why I called you!" Is your wife really the cause of your emotional outburst? Not really. You had a terrible day and you're tired, hungry and stressed out. It's not her fault. Anything could have set you off. You could have just as easily kicked the dog.
Rather than level your wife, why not be emotionally honest? When it comes to acknowledging emotions with your inner circle, honesty is the best policy. But be sure to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Another important guideline for acknowledging and expressing your emotions is to know your limitations. Be aware that if you're on the edge emotionally--angry, tense, anxious, depressed--it's not a good time to make decisions on important issues. Your emotions may push you to resolve what you're struggling with, but you may regret your resolution if you push too hard. You're going to say things you'll later regret. Somebody's going to get hurt. You're far better off to recognize your emotional limits and say, "If we keep talking I'm going to get angry. May we continue this discussion at another time?"
Being emotionally honest lets others off the hook. When you honestly convey how you feel, others know you are not primarily mad at them and that the problem is not their fault. They can also love you better by meeting the needs you express.
Heavenly Father, enable me to be an honest and real person today, speaking the truth in love in all my relationships.
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