Look at the Dashboard, Part 2
21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. —James 1:21-22
Yesterday, we identified emotions as warning lights and began to list effective tools in sorting out proper responses to the “warning lights.” Today, we will continue examining more tools God gives us in His Word to help us be “doers of the word.”
6. Identify any "rights" you believe you're entitled to. Desire can often create expectations that, when interrupted or denied, make us angry.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1).
7. Do something. As we've said, emotions can help catalyze behavior. Some things you need to let just roll off. Maybe a matter of offense is something you just need to roll off to the Lord
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:7-8).
But if you've prayed about it and believe the Lord would have you address the matter, (note: not force the outcome, but to honor Christ) then take the next step.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).
8. Don't spiritualize your venting (What we're tempted to term "counsel getting"). While we're trying to work out the stuff, we often create casualties in the process. When Jill and I were dating, and I broke up with her, her friends got an earful about what a wretch and worm I was. When I groveled and did penance for my folly, Jill took me back. And her friends? That was another matter. "That guy! The one you told us about! You're kidding, right??!!" While it is understandable to seek out someone to listen while we lick our wounds, we can defile them with half of the matter.
“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).
Be very careful who you consult and what you share. Sometimes it's nothing more than sanctified sin.
I don't share this in some arrogant "I've arrived" way. I'm much more flesh and bones than I wish. And it can still smart something awful: I say, "Sticks and stones break my bones and words can break my spirit." You?
Be angry, but do not sin! It's a normal reaction given to guide us toward a solution toward change for God's glory and our good. —Joel Anderson
In what situations can I put these tools to work today?
Who will hold me accountable to make these changes?
Prayer – Father, I thank You for the gift of my emotions. Help me use them as You intended, as a warning light and don’t let them become a curse when they trigger a response that doesn’t glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.