“Don’t let your feelings be a DICTATOR in your life any longer.”
— Joyce Meyer
For someone who struggles with Bipolar, or really almost any mental illness, feelings are a major part of life. My Bipolar has disturbed my feelings for the better part of my life. Then, the Church I attended and devoted myself to, went on “feeling the Holy Spirit” through feelings. This has led me to a complete dependence on judging how I am doing by how I feel at any given moment. If it feels wrong, it must be wrong. If it feels right, it must be right. It also applies to how others are feeling about me. If they all feel a certain way about me or my behavior, etc. it must be true.
These were intense feelings… Not the subtle nudge of peace and joy the Holy Spirit brings… But overwhelming happiness, sadness, despair, guilt, that brought me to my knees or over the top of the clouds…. Now I am not dismissing all feelings like this as not from God, but when they stir the pot or make you proud or gratify your ego in any way such as mine,more often than not did, they are tools of Satan.
When I realized that “following my heart” is wrong because the heart is easily deceived (check out Obadiah 1:3 and Deuteronomy 11:15, KJV) I should have realized that my feelings are just as easily, for the heart is “the vital center of one’s being, emotion, and sensibilities” (Life Application Study Bible). However, the devil had me duped in that area for a good portion of my new life and all of my old.
Then I read the quote above out of Joyce’s “A New Way of Living” booklet I received for contacting their ministry not too long ago. Incidentally, it is a free help to those looking, new believers, and others who seek to understand the Christian walk better and you can find it here. This quote really struck me. Who ever THINKS of our emotions controlling us?? Our behavior in reaction to (or reaction of), our speech, our mode of dress, how our day goes, how we think, how we treat others, how others treat us in reaction to something we have done as a reaction to our emotions….The list goes on and on!
These emotions really are dictators. If I wake up in a bad mood, I think negative thoughts all day, these thoughts lead me to be crabbier, to myself and to others around me, which leads them to be grumped at me or to others they are around. If I feel lousy, I do not take time to look nice and instead, dress like a dump. If I am grumpy, my speech is often rude, crude, and full of vile. On the other hand, if I wake up in a good mood then the day is full of potential for good things to happen and I am happy. A resulting smile often brings compliments and passes one’s happiness on.
So next time you react to someone or something without thinking first, stop and remind yourself that those were emotional reactions and nothing good will come of them. The other day I reacted emotionally and told someone I hated them and that I thought they were a F*&#ing dickhead as well as a sexist male-chauvinist pig because they informed me they did not (do not) have to listen to me because I am a female.
Now, I wouldn’t call myself a feminist because while I do agree that women are equal to men in most respects, I maintain that there are unique differences/qualities between the sexes that should be respected as well. The point that made me blow off my top was the underlying blatant disrespect directed towards me. Were I more Christ-like I would have forgiven immediately and let the whole thing slide. Unfortunately, in my humanness my flesh crawled…okay more like shoved…. its way out of me and before I knew it I was spouting of profanities that might make a sailor blush.
It took me several hours to realize my need. I went to town to fetch supper for the guys and myself and on the way in I was listening to some music (TobyMac, I believe) and the thought came to me that I needed to apologize. Not to please the individual I spouted off to, but to please God. I yelled, “FINE! I’LL APOLOGIZE!” because it was icky to my flesh. Then I apologized for yelling and managed to repeat the conviction a little more calmly (not much though…I’m still working on accepting reproof :)). When I came back to work, I apologized for being a, well a, well you know.. and the individual sloughed it off like nothing had even happened.
However it might have made my flesh crawl to do it, I am glad now that it is done. Obedience is not such a fun thing sometimes. In the chastisement and mortification of our flesh we grow: as people and as Christians. Through this experience I was reminded once again that MY way is not always the best way, MY emotions often get the better of me, and most importantly, that GOD loves me enough to remind me when I am in the wrong and help me seek correction. Happy Friday dear loves!