You don't have to be a slave to anxiety or depression. (Pixabay)

A common question many believers ask is: "How can I control my emotions as a Christian?"

My new interview series features the best encouragement on managing emotions from noted Christian authors.

Our first inspirational interview is with Athena Dean Holtz. A Christian publisher, speaker, author, blogger, radio personality and pastor's wife, Athena's latest book is Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God.

Read the interview below:

1. What are your favorite Scriptures that help you manage your emotions and why?

  • "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7)
  • "May all my enemies be ashamed and greatly terrified; may they turn back and be suddenly ashamed" (Ps. 6:10).

Both of these Scriptures provide next steps in order for us to focus on Christ to manage our emotions. Each one gives us something to do.

Instead of being anxious, pray with thanksgiving, trusting Him to answer those prayers and take care of the situation that is causing us to be anxious.

As we obey Him in this small step, His peace guards our hearts and minds. Although the situation may not change, He is faithful to teach us to trust Him for the outcome that will glorify Him best.

I know one of my weaknesses is to assume the worst. When my emotions start ruling my world, it's time to be still. To slow down. To focus on the one who loves me more than life itself.

As I do that, I am able to take my thoughts captive and remember that my God is sovereign. Nothing happens to me that He doesn't know about. I can trust Him.

2. What are three of your best tips to help others manage their emotions in godly ways?

  • Understand that the enemy prowls around, like a roaring lion, seeking who he might devour. Put on your armor, every day.  Speak out loud as in the statements below:

Today, I put on the belt of truth. Lord, help me to speak only the truth today (Eph. 6:14).

I put on the breastplate of righteousness, that my heart might be right before You (Eph. 6:14).

I shod my feet in the gospel of peace, that I might go wherever You send me today (Eph. 6:15).

I lift up the shield of faith to protect me from every fiery darts of the evil one (Eph. 6:16).

I put on the helmet of salvation, which is the mind of Christ. Lord, let me have Your thoughts today (Eph. 6:17).

I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword. Help me to use that sword against every lie of the evil one that comes my way today (Eph. 6:17).

And I pray in the Spirit when I need to talk to You today (Eph. 6:18).

Thank You, Lord, that You don't leave me unprotected, but give me Your glory as a rear guard (Is.  58:8).

And so, I choose the will of God, and I refuse the will of Satan. (Is. 7:14-15).

Spirit of God, rule and reign in my life (Ps.51:10).

Rule and reign in my thoughts, my attitudes, my emotions, my feelings (2 Cor. 10:5).

In every area, Spirit of God, I seek first Your kingdom and give You permission to rule and reign (Matt. 6:33).

And I pray against every strategy of the evil one to rob my joy, faith and courage, and ask You to render every one of those unholy strategies ineffective, in the name of Jesus.

Amen (Eph. 6:10-13).

  • Bathe yourself in worship music. He inhabits the praises of His people. Worshiping Him changes our perspective and softens our hearts towards Him.
  • Surrender all your fears, doubts, anxieties, loneliness and every other negative emotion to Him. Tell Him how you feel. He already knows it, but He wants to hear you admit your struggle. Don't be afraid to lament. Cry out as David did, pour out your heart to Him, for He is your refuge (Ps. 62:8).

3. What sabotaging thoughts (lies) do Believers need to release that keep them in bondage to negative emotions? 

  • Lie #1: God doesn't really care about you.
  • Lie #2: You'll never measure up to what He expects.
  • Lie #3: The world is a scary place and God isn't concerned with the details of your life

4. What are some things believers can do at the "moment of decision" when they are tempted to practice destructive behavior when emotionally upset?

  • Bind every strategy of the unholy realm that would try to influence you towards destructive behavior, in Jesus' name.
  • Loose the mind of Christ and His peace to flood your mind, will and emotions, in Jesus' name (Matt. 16:19).
  • Turn on worship music and sing out loud.
  • Surrender fully to God and ask Him to change your emotions and give you the mind of Christ.

Connect with Athena Dean Holtz at redemption-press.com.

This article originally appeared at takebackyourtemple.com.

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