How many times a day do you feel angry? Frustrated? Upset? We assume that these are emotions that we can manage, but ultimately cannot control. We remove ourselves from situations we don’t think we can handle, admitting that certain emotions are inevitable. But are they?
The question to ask yourself is this: who is really in control of my emotions? If I let someone upset me, I am granting them authority over my emotions. If I let someone drive me to anger, I am granting that person authority not only over my emotions, but also over my actions. They are now in control of my mind, will and emotions instead of God.
We have a choice to make when it comes to how we are going to feel. Someone is always in control of our emotions, but it is up to us just who that person will be. Will we let the people around us control how we feel? Or will we let God have control?
Giving other people charge over our emotions will result in anger, anxiety and frustration. Letting God fully control our emotions can only result in one outcome: joy.
The idea that we are in control of our own emotions is a myth. We say things like, “I don’t care what other people think about me,” without realizing what we mean. To say, “I don’t care what people think” is actually admitting that you care so much about what they think that you are willing to make the conscious decision to ignore them. You’re willing to live in denial because you know that if you even so much as consider what they think, you will allow their views to overwhelm your self-perception. We must be honest and admit that our self-perception is driven by what others think about us. Our emotions are driven by stimuli provided by external sources. The real choice is this: will we accept what other people think about us, or will we accept God’s opinion of us as the ultimate reality? Will the stimuli that drive our emotions come from the people around us, or will we only accept stimuli from God?
The Bible tells us to judge a tree by its fruit (Matt 7:20). If you want to know who is really controlling your emotions every day, put a thermometer in the level of joy you experience in your life.
-by Pastor Mike White