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Dealing with your Emotions Tips & Advice

1. The Christian Myth
Christians never have emotional problems, right? Wrong! Throughout the Bible are examples of emotional extremes by people who followed God, from Elijah, who became severely depressed after his great victory at Mt. Caramel, to the disciple Peter, who lost his temper and cut off a soldierīs ear. But the story doesnīt end with their failures. These and many other Bible characters became emotionally stronger after they learned their weaknesses, and so can you!

Psalm 119:67, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word."
2. Admitting Our Weaknesses
Until we learn our emotional weaknesses, we wonīt be able to strengthen those areas and will remain vulnerable to letting our emotions control us. Most of us mistakenly think we know ourselves -- until we unexpectedly encounter an emotion we didnīt think we were capable of displaying so avidly. We are shocked to find just how much hate or livid anger is lurking deep within us.

Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
3. Getting Help
Christians not only can and do encounter emotional problems, we also have an advantage in that we have the Great Physician on our side to help us. We also have medical professionals, Christian psychologists and counsellors, Christian friends and mentors. With that in mind, we can examine our emotions, learn to better control them, and learn when and where to get help and healing for our damaged emotions.

Romans 8:18, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
4. Friends Or Foes?
Emotions are feelings that come from deep inside us. Positive emotions, like happiness and contentment, make us feel good. Examples of negative emotions are anger, sadness and fear. While we all want the "good feelings", it is inevitable that we sometimes experience negative ones, and that is not always bad. Our bodies, through our emotions, could be telling us that something is wrong -- and that can be a good thing.

Psalm 144:15, "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord."
5. Some Negatives Are Positive
Emotions are meant to help us, even when they are negative in nature. For example, depression is a sad feeling that doesnīt go away. Though it is usually associated with some kind of loss or tragedy in life, it could also be a symptom of a physical illness such as diabetes, or perhaps itīs a result of burnout. There could also be hidden sin (by ourselves or another) that our emotions are trying to get us to face, maybe something that happened a long time ago but was never resolved. Bitterness, for instance, is an emotion that can cause physical illness but would be almost impossible for a regular physician to detect.

Psalm 139:23,"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts."
6. Balance
Balance and control are necessary for good emotional health. When our emotions are out of sync, we canīt do and be our best. Our lives need a balance in all areas, including the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. If one is out of balance, all the others are affected also.

3 John 1:2, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."
7. Whoīs In Control?
We donīt have to let our emotions take control of our lives, no matter what our background or genetic makeup. (There are exceptions, of course, such as people with certain severe mental illnesses. However, the purpose here is to provide help with the usual emotional struggles in life. It is not meant to take the place of mental health professionals.) When we get overwhelmed and canīt get our bearings alone, help is available through a variety of sources, including the medical professions, our families, good friends, and God and his Word.

Romans 6:16, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
8. Pseudo-Emotions
Things are not always what they seem. Physical problems can cause a personīs emotions and disposition to change, sometimes overnight. For example, women who suffer PMS (premenstrual syndrome) know the emotional upheaval they go through around "that time of month." They become irritable with themselves and everyone around them. A few days later they are their sunny "real selves" again. Other physical causes of emotional stress can include pain, disease, a chemical imbalance in the body or brain, or even a reaction from medication. When we are not well, it is most important that our minds are yielded to Christ so we wonīt give in to despair.

2 Cor. 4:8-10, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
9. Listen With Your Heart
People who are happy-go-lucky all the time have it made -- or so the rest of us think. If the truth were known, many who have an outward show of happiness are masking tears inside that need to get out. Some people, rather than let their true emotions show, will make a joke of everything. Others will snap in anger. We should try to hear anotherīs heart speaking as well as his words. When Job tried to tell his friends what anguish he was going through, they mistakenly kept insisting his problems were the result of sin in his life. We need to be careful how we judge others during their times of emotional burdens.

Job 7:11, "Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."
10. Why Are You Crying?
Finding the cause of negative emotions isnīt always easy, but it is well worth it! Why are you having crying spells so often? Are you just having a "blue" day -- or are you suffering from true (clinical) depression? Is your lethargy and sluggishness caused by laziness, coming from allergies, or are you experiencing a thyroid problem? Having a thorough physical checkup is a good place to start your quest. In addition, you need Godīs wisdom to make decisions concerning your problem once you have found the true reason.

James 1:5," If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
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