GOD'S WORD ON DANGEROUS EMOTIONS The Bible offers us spiritual food to help counteract the depletion that accompanies health-destroying emotions. The following are a few examples:
Anger: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:19-20, NIV).
"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (Eph. 4:26). Otherwise, your anger will go deep down inside you.
Anxiety: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
Most of the things we worry about never happen. For the things that do, God is always there to help us through.
Bitterness: "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Heb. 12:14-15).
Bitterness can destroy us from the inside out. It is like rust that corrodes our spirits, takes away our peace and makes it impossible to have a healthy relationship with anyone.
Harboring past hurts invites resentment. Instead, use the hurts as opportunities to develop spiritually.
Emotional baggage: "Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall" (Ps. 55:22).
Sometimes feelings, thought patterns and past experiences continue to traumatize a person each time they are triggered or recalled. We must deal with our emotional baggage because it will keep us from experiencing lives of freedom.
Fear: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (Ps. 23:4).
We must consciously reject every fear that comes into our minds and tries to take us captive. We rebuke it and ask God to allow His peace to surround us.
Frustration: "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you" (Ps. 116:7).
Often frustration is a result of our own failures. It is a feeling of irritability and restlessness. But sometimes it is a sign that we need to shift gears or that we are not walking on the correct path. In this case, frustration can be a needed catalyst for change.
Grief: "'In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You listened to my cry'" (Jon. 2:2).
Grief is a fact of life. Although it is never a pleasant experience, it is a process we must allow ourselves to walk through. Otherwise it will resurface again and again and prolong our suffering.
So, grieve, but only for a season. Then prepare to move forward again.
Guilt: "'I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more'" (Is. 43:25).
It is imperative for us to forgive ourselves. We have to believe that if we have repented of our sins, God has forgiven us and forgotten them.
Loneliness: "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Heb. 13:5). Loneliness can open the door to all kinds of maladies in our bodies, minds and spirits. It has been linked to the most dreaded disease of our day--cancer.
We can take comfort in knowing that even when it seems everyone has abandoned us, we are never alone once we ask God to come into our lives and live in us.
Unforgiveness: "'For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins'''(Matt. 6:14).
I cannot stress this point enough--unforgiveness will destroy our minds, bodies and spirits. More importantly, if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven.
Forgiveness is a primary key to overcoming dangerous emotions. Sometimes it isn't easy, but there is good reason for us to forgive one another. In an article entitled, "Forgive to Live," Health Magazine published the findings of a new study out of the University of Tennessee.