By Gary Keesee
Everything feels like a mess.
I can’t control how I feel!
I just wish I didn’t feel this way.
Do any of those statements sound familiar?
You’re not alone. We’ve all been there.
I don’t know anyone who can say that they’ve never once let their feelings or emotions get out of hand at some point in their lives.
But what happens if your feelings and emotions keep making you lose your cool or shrink back from opportunities? What happens if your feelings and emotions have started negatively affecting your relationships with family, friends, or coworkers, or your life seems stuck because you haven’t been able to stay motivated?
See, having feelings are perfectly normal, and so is feeling emotions. In fact, your emotions are powerful tools God gave you for your success.
He created positive emotions to help motivate you to work toward your goals, push through circumstances, chase after your dreams, forgive more easily, love others, laugh, and even speak up and act against injustices.
But, negative emotions are a different story. Negative emotions and feelings are toxic, to you and to everyone around you. They can stop you dead in your tracks, or send you down an undesired path of self-destruction, and you may end up taking others along for the ride.
So, what can you do? How can you make sure your emotions and feelings are working FOR you and not against you?
The Bible tells us how in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We need to sanctify our emotions and feelings. What does that mean? It means that we submit our emotions and feelings to God; we set them apart; we clean them up; we manage them as God would, so they can propel us toward our destinies the way He intended them to.
Now, we get to the point where you’re probably thinking:
“Sure, that’s just great, Gary. If I knew how to do all of that, I probably wouldn’t still be reading this.”
Maybe you know some of our story, but Drenda and I spent years on a roller coaster of ups and downs with our feelings and emotions.
For nine very long years, we lived hand-to-mouth—in what could only be described as financial chaos. We could barely afford our rent of $300 a month on our falling-apart farmhouse that had weeds growing through its windows, let alone the upkeep on our two rusted-out, bent up, high mileage cars. We had also racked up ten maxed out credit cards, three finance company loans at interest rates of 28%, more than $13,000 owed in back taxes, more than $26,000 owed to relatives, and we had judgments and liens filed against us.
I battled almost constant feelings of fear, discontentment, and failure, and Drenda would fight feeling overwhelmed by and unhappy about our circumstances. She also feared that she’d appear weak if she shared her feelings with anyone.
Not only that, but I also felt physically sick during those days! You can imagine the added emotions and feelings Drenda was dealing with in trying to deal with me!
You name the negative feeling and either Drenda or I probably had it—no, lived it—during those nine long years! We were both constantly fighting the downward spirals our emotions and feelings tried to take us on.
We were believers, but we were miserable.
We had no joy and no peace.
Read more of our story in next week’s blog.
Request your copy of Drenda’s newest book, Better Than You Feel, now!