Controlling Emotions

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.
~ Genesis 1:31a

I personally experience my emotions in a very strong way. When I am happy, there’s not much that can bring me down and life’s everyday hassles are easy to take in stride. When I’m feeling upset or down about something, a little spilled milk or water even can send me over the edge.

Emotions, like all else in Creation, were made to be good. They were good. After the Fall, however, they became distorted, perverted, like everything else. This is true of both “positive” emotions and “negative” emotions.

Can sad be a good thing to feel? Sure it can. When we or someone we love experiences a loss, we feel sad. That emotion is appropriate in that instance. Tainted by sin, though, we may feel that sadness begin to control us. (And I’m not talking about clinical depression here; that’s something else entirely.) We may let the sadness or frustration or whatever other “negative” emotion begin to have entirely too much power in our lives.

What about happy? Can it be a negative thing? Of course. When someone who isn’t nice to us or doesn’t like us very much is humiliated or hurt, we may feel a perverse pleasure. But that’s not a good way to experience that emotion. We’re letting sin once again taint what God made good.

Looking for the influence of sin in our emotions, looking to see why we’re feeling what we’re feeling can help in keeping our emotions from ruling us and influencing us negatively. On the other hand, as children of God, we can also see the influence of His grace in our emotions.

We remember that what we have here in this world, good or bad, is transient and temporary. Because of that, we can rest in the assurance that God has called us to His kingdom, that we are made into new creatures, washed clean of sin. We are made able to renounce the devil and his attempts to use our emotions to pull us from God. Praise God for His healing and saving grace in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
~ II Corinthians 5:17

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