“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:40 (NLT)
Having a “busy” personality makes it challenging for me to slow down and take inventory of what’s really going on inside. For years, my response to feelings of anger, hurt, fear, and frustration was to simply stuff them or push them aside, rather than face them head on and work through them.
Stuffing our emotions is like loading a gun with bullets
and waiting for someone else to pull the trigger —
it’s only a matter of time and there will be an explosion.
If we don’t take time to manage our emotions, we will store up hurt and negativity and set ourselves up for a major outburst or breakdown.
Have you ever stopped to take inventory of what’s at the “heart” of your emotions? God gave us our emotions to inform us of something deeper, something that has either settled in our hearts or is on its way there. These “heart matters”are ones we can’t afford to ignore.
God warns us in Proverbs 4:23 to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (NASB). Therefore, let’s learn to dig a little deeper and discover the roots of our negative feelings so we can manage our issues with courage and confidence.
“Jesus said,‘Are you still lacking in understanding also? “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.’” Matthew 15:16-18 (NASB)
Our “heart issues” are at the root of who we are; they are central to our being. And when we ignore them, they bubble to the surface and often come out as angry words and poor behaviors. That’s why it’s so important we watch over our “hearts.”
Begin today by taking a closer look at what’s at the heart of your joy-destroying, negatively charged emotions. Take out a piece of paper and write down the negative emotions you are feeling at this very moment. Are you sad, anxious, frustrated, angry, or insecure?
Now spend the next five to ten minutes in solitude and prayer, asking God to reveal the root problem driving your emotions. Once you’ve finished your quiet time with God, write down the root issues He revealed. Is it unmet expectations? Are you afraid of something or someone? Are you neglecting your self-care?
Now ask God to give you wisdom, guidance, and courage to take a courageous first step toward healing your heart and managing your emotions.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)