How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Gaining Self-Control
Key Bible Verse: A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. – Proverbs 25:28
Dig Deeper: 2 Timothy 1:7
Not only does God command certain emotions, but he also commands that we exercise self-control. Self-control is about as popular as root canals. However, there is a serious requirement for believers to exercise self-control. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23) and a gift of grace. God straightforwardly expects us to exercise self-control (2 Pet.1:6).
What is it about self that we are to control? We must control every aspect of our lives, especially our emotions. As Spirit-filled believers, we are to be sober-minded, reasonable, sensible, exercising good judgment and prudence (Rom. 12:3; 1 Pet. 4:7). The presumption is that our emotions are under the control of God’s Word and Spirit and sound mental judgment.
The Bible commands us to be in control of our emotions through Spirit-empowered self-control. [But] how do we obey these commands? Let me quickly say that there [are] no seven easy steps. When we stop believing the lies of the Devil—that certain aspects of our life will never change—when Scripture begins to infuse us with the hope, and when we start practicing the truth we believe, there is change. Under the influence of the Word and Spirit, we really can begin to handle our emotions.
—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith
My Response: How have I bought into the lie that I can’t change my out-of-control emotions?
Thought to Apply: I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.—Aristotle (Greek philosopher)
Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)
Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.