January 13, 2010

 

The Colors of Emotion

 Susanne Scheppmann

 

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 (NIV)

Devotion:

My feelings scoot across the emotion spectrum. Some days are happy days. Other mornings I don't want to crawl out of bed—I just want to wallow in misery and depression. I sigh and say to my husband, "I have the blues today."

 

I guess you could say I am a "colorful" person. Maybe you are too. Have you ever found yourself saying something like …

 

·        I am feeling blue today.

·        I am so angry; I'm seeing red.

·        I am green with envy.

·        I am in black despair.

 

Often our emotions are not based on reality, but on a temporary perception of reality. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV). I don't always understand why I feel the way I do. My moods could result from weariness, hormones, or an unexpected surprise.

 

Fortunately, although our hearts are deceitful and trick us into colorful emotions, God is bigger and stronger than our weak hearts. Our key verse states, "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:19-20, NIV; emphasis added). This makes me shout aloud, "Hallelujah!"

We still hold some responsibility, however, for our thoughts and emotions. Proverbs 4:23 instructs, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (NIV)." How do we do this? We should take care about the books, movies and television that we allow to influence our thoughts. Listening to gossip, rumors and discontent from friends can certainly stir up negative feelings as well. 

Instead of infusing ourselves with emotional junk food, we need to nourish our minds with godly influences. For example, read the Bible, chat with godly friends, or listen to praise music. The more joyful and contentment-filled influences we filter our thoughts through each day, the more we'll experience a positive emotional state—in fact, we'll be tickled pink!

                                                                                                                                                                          

Dear Lord, grant me the ability to recognize my emotions are not always truth. I thank You that You are bigger and stronger than my deceitful heart. Teach me how to be most effective in guarding my heart from fickle emotions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Visit Susanne's blog

 

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppmann

 

The S.O.S for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms by Mary M. Byers

30 Days to Taming Your Stress by Deborah Smith Pegues

Here are a few tips for A New Year, A Better You

Application Steps: 

Memorize the following passages to help you gain control over colorful emotions:

 

Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (NIV)

 

1 John 3:20, For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (NIV)

Proverbs 4:23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (NIV)

Reflections: 

Do I rely on my emotions to determine the outcome of my day?

 

What circumstances influence my emotions?

 

Power Verses:

Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (NLT)

Philippians 4:8, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (MSG)

Galatians 5:22-24, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)

 

© 2010 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

 

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