Emotions are a wonderful thing. They make us human.
Without emotions, we would struggle to develop lasting relationships and would be missing out on a fundamental part of God’s plan for our lives. However, they can also be a curse. If we let negative emotions rule our mind, we can find ourselves trapped and struggling. So, how do win the spiritual battle for our emotions? Well, Whitney Hopler at Crosswalk highlights 5 top tips.
1. Fill your mind with timeless truth so you can focus on that despite changing emotions.
“The more biblical truth you have in your mind when Satan attacks through your emotions, the more likely it is that you’ll win the battle. So make a habit of reading the Bible and meditating on the words you read. Every day, ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind.”
2. Give yourself a timeout when you notice your emotions spiralling out of control.
“Stop to reflect and pray during times when you realize that a feeling is overwhelming you. Just like parents give children timeouts to teach them how to recognize and control their emotions, you can take a timeout and check in with your heavenly parent – God – when strong emotions come to your attention. During those breaks, consider what you’re really feeling, and why.”
3. Deal honestly with the uncomfortable emotions you feel.
“You may sometimes deny, ignore, or suppress emotions that trouble you. For example, if you’re feeling jealous, you’re probably also feeling embarrassed and ashamed about feeling that way. No one likes to admit jealousy. Yet if you don’t deal with it, envious emotions will distort your perspective on your life. That will leave you vulnerable to Satan’s attacks, because Satan will twist the truth to get your attention; if you’re confused you may believe what he tells you. So whenever you notice you’re feeling an emotion that makes you uncomfortable, acknowledge it, and try to check in with God about it in that moment or soon afterward (through a silent prayer).”
4. Take care of your physical health, which is connected to your emotional health.
“If your body isn’t feeling well, your emotions can be difficult to manage. Just think about the last time you snapped at someone in anger while you were tired, or when you worried about something while hungry, but then felt better after eating. Ask God to help you develop healthy physical habits that will nurture your body, mind, and spirit as they work together according to God’s design.”
5. Learn lessons God wants to teach you through your emotions.
“God often uses emotions as teaching tools. Emotions are gifts from God, whom the Bible describes as having an emotional essence (“God is love.” – 1 John 4:8). But emotions constantly change as circumstances change, and they may easily misinterpreted when you’re not thinking of them from a Spirit-led perspective. So pray for guidance every day, asking God to help you discern the messages he sends you through your feelings.”