3 Powerful Truths About Unleashing Your Feelings

3 Powerful Truths About Unleashing Your Feelings

You might say I’m gifted with the ill-timed comment. I’ve thought a lot about this and I don’t think it’s really my fault.

Like when Barbara came from out of state to visit Lisa. I was trying to do something nice for them, I really was. They were having tea on the couch in the family room, open to the kitchen. It was a “good husband” moment. I wanted them to be able to talk, uninterrupted, so the kids were in the backyard and I quietly listened while washing the dishes. That’s nice, isn’t it?

But, no sooner did I start scrubbing with this new-fangled scrubber that releases the soap as you wash and I got frustrated.

Peek behind the curtain: I hate (I know, Christians aren’t supposed to hate but, I do) I hate things that don’t work – especially if they’re new. I’m convinced there’s a special place in the netherworld for people who make and sell junk.

Anyway, after about three futile attempts at cleaning a pan, I said . . . loudly . . . Where did this worthless piece of junk come from?

Both ladies looked up. “What worthless piece of junk, honey?” Lisa asked with that cringing tone that says, I hope he doesn’t say what I think he’s going to say.

“This stupid thing,” I said, holding up the offending article as absolute proof that the world is falling apart.

“Oh, the new scrubber,” she said, “That is a gift, from Barbara.”

Awkward.

Okay, I’m not quite as guiltless as I first claimed. No one forced me to get all worked up and, I didn’t have to say anything derogatory.  But, I felt strongly about that scrubber and the villains who made it.

Ever felt strongly about something you were discussing with your spouse? When he/she had a different perspective than you? When no one’s giving in? How did that go?

One of the hardest things to believe about our own feelings is that we are completely in charge of them. More typically, we act as if they arrive on the scene as some separate, irresistible force that must be unleashed on the situation.

This is never true. Remember the last time you got fired-up? You expressed your frustration because . . . you expressed your frustration. We made a choice. We are in charge of our emotions. The Devil didn’t make you do it. Your spouse didn’t, either. You chose. I chose. We all choose.

Our feelings aren’t legitimate just because we have them. Do we want to be biblical Christians, walking in the Spirit? Then our feelings will have to submit to something before they do more damage: the Truth.

This is true even when we’re completely right (it was a piece of junk, okay!). God allows for legitimate anger. Ephesians 4:26 says . . . be angry but don’t sin. Even then, when we’re legitimately angry, the Bible teaches us to remain in control of our feelings.

A fool gives full vent to his anger but a wise man quietly holds it back. Proverbs 29:11

Interesting, isn’t it? You can be right and still be a fool by unleashing your feelings on the moment.

God calls us to walk in the Spirit and in Truth. To do so, we need to take proper charge of our feelings and the responses that accompany them. What is the truth about emotions?

1)   When it comes to responding to circumstances or disagreements, you are not a victim. You are in charge. Feelings and responses are a choice.

2)   Feelings might be legitimate . . . but they might also be illegitimate. Truth decides, not the power of the emotions of the moment.

3)   Anger may be justified but don’t give “vent” to it. Be wise, restraining your anger.

Do we do this in our own strength? No, Galatians 5:16 says if you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.  How do we walk in the Spirit?

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Angry? Frustrated? It’s your move.

Matthew
www.matthewljacobson.com

 

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Written by Matthew L. Jacobson

Matthew Jacobson has been in the book publishing industry for 22 years and is currently the president of Loyal Arts Literary Agency. For the last 10 years, he's served as a teaching elder in his local Church. Matthew and his beautiful bride of 21 years, Lisa, raise their 8 children in the Pacific NW. You can join him at his blog by clicking here: MatthewLJacobson.com or find Matthew on facebook. Check out his NEW book: 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.

7 Comments

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    Amy Jung says:

    Good and wise counsel…it empowers us to know we are not victims and that we are always choosing. It also good for us to hear (contrary to our culture) that our feelings don’t mean we’re right. The bible determines if we are right. Blessings…

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    Tina Kaye says:

    My husband paraphrase a verse from Proverbs whenever he’s put on the spot and can’t come up with a “right” answer: “Even a fool is thought wise when silent.” That’s the only “answer” I get sometimes, and it used to drive me insane. Lately, though, I’ve come to realize how often my bluntness hurts others, and I understand that he’s reminding himself to exercise restraint, not lecturing me. We both slip (often!), but that’s life. Thank you for using a less-than-perfect moment from your life to humbly offer us all the chance to reflect on the lesson that it offers!

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    Jhonalaize says:

    Thank you for this article. I hope you don’t mind if I will share this on my time line. Waiting for your permission. Thanks again.

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    Pamela Kelley says:

    THANK YOU! Have been dealing with emotions and responses for a while now and this applies to all relationships :) Printed it out with the added words (child, parent, anyone) lol to use with my seven year old granddaughter. She was molested last December and has had a hard time controlling her anger and responses when I reinforce boundaries. This comes as an answer to prayer to find something to use with her as she has recently accepted Christ as her Savior :) The road has been long and hard with my resolve to go on wavering as she verbally and physically attacks. I can see the progress and yet am not really enjoying the journey we are on…right now :(

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    Jim Moore says:

    This reminded me of Joanne Highley who used to say that the feelings/emotions may be real, but might not be true.

    And one emotion can even impersonate another. I used to struggle a lot with anger, until the Lord showed me that a lot of it was based in fear (anger gave me a feeling of power, where fear made me aware of my need.)

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