Pray. Think first. The emotions support and reinforce our resolve. The body gets us there and does the physical work. God is glorified.
Think Like Jesus ThinksSo what and how do we think? Have you ever noticed that when Jesus answered a question, he either asked another question back or answered the question they should have asked to find salvation? Jesus certainly did answer their question but more importantly He would first give another answer to a question they did not ask, but they should have.
The questions that were being asked Jesus came from a way of thinking that did not comprehend the ways of God. Jesus was changing the way they think through His teaching and answering questions in a way that challenged their incorrect thinking process. So take the time to put on the mind of Christ by finding out what His Word says about His way of thinking.
Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. - James 1:21 NLT
Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy. - Ephesians 4:22-24 NLTHaving trouble finding a place to start digging into the Bible and not sure where to start? Review the article, What Should I Study? You'll be putting on the Mind of Christ in no time.
Mental RepsNow let's talk about thinking as a priority. When we get surprised or taken off guard we get hit with an emotional stir that has a way of pushing back our thinking process. We get in a tough position and instead of thinking our way through we react with anger, fear, timidity and whole list of negative emotions. We need to learn to shift from the emotional shock of a situation to activating the mind and thinking when we get taken by surprise.
The emotions will come. In this context they are not good or evil but we want to be practiced at putting them in a place where they serve our thinking process rather than hinder it.
So what are situations where we need to shift from emotional responses to thinking responses? You could probably name a few but here is a quick list to give you a start: A car accident, a question at work about the Lord, a political statement from someone who has a different view than your own, you are threatened, you get hurt in a manner that requires immediate attention, you get lost, your late, someone made you angry... you get the idea.
- Think through a scenario you may know you have in front of you.
- Remind yourself of God's Word.
- Feel His peace.
Meditate on God's Word and how your emotions will serve you best in difficult situations.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. - 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT
Train YourselfSpend time training your thought process and training your emotions to support you, rather than work against you. Sometimes walking through worst case scenarios with a mentor or trusted brother/sister in the Lord can also help you see possibilities.
I have found that most of the time the worst case is actually far less than I had envisioned. However, other times it was what I had expected and I was glad I practiced my mental reps reminding myself of His Word and His peace.
We call this process of readying yourself, getting In The Cool Zone. Being in the cool zone is a place of liberty. Know the Lord, know who you are in the Lord and know liberty!
Serving God On Turbo
Emotions are the turbo for driving action on the things we know glorify God and serve His purposes. However, they can also be the turbo for the sin that is in our lives. Let's get our emotions working for us unto righteousness so we can be a blessing to the Kingdom of God and bring glory to our Father who has sacrificed so much for us.
How can you think first so your emotions will follow and support you?
Pray. Gather information on the decision you need to make. Find God's Word about your situation. Do mental reps so you can practice letting peace thrive in your heart and mind. Talk it through with a mentor or trusted fellow believer. Take action with confidence in the Lord.
Take it one step at a time. Start with the small things. Work your way up to the bigger challenges.
Are your emotions getting the better of you?
We certainly don't want to be driven to anger, selfishness, adultery, stealing or any other sin because our emotions are ruling over us. Let's train our emotions to serve us so we can serve God better than we ever have before.
Paul told Timothy to train himself to be Godly. It is a process that takes time, so start right now. The Lord is growing us up a little at a time so let's not miss an opportunity. Remember that you have the self discipline, as describe in the article, Are You Disciplined? Give it a quick read to build your faith.
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.