Faithlife Sermons

Toxic Emotion

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Typically when I begin to repeat a phrase over and over again God maybe talking to me. Now my years in Maine still affects my vocabulary as I find myself saying “wicked” still to this day—almost 8 years later. But this type of speech isn’t what I am talking about. I don’t know if you have noticed but I have stated: Emotions were created by God, but perverted by Satan.
Tonight I want to discuss toxic emotions. An emotional person is defined by one who is easily affected with or stirred by emotion. This is where many husbands begin to nudge their wife or teenage daughter, but anger is an emotion. Emotions aren’t sexist or gender specific, but equally destructive.
The bible states we can only serve one master. now this particular verse pertains to money, but I believe it isn’t a far stretch to include our emotions as well.
Anything your not in control of you are enslaved to
- wether money, emotions, success, or even humility. When we cross the line of control we can turn what is God ordained into condemning sin.
Psalm 1:3 ESV
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
I have found that those who are driven by emotions often find success hard to obtain. The reason is because It’s hard to be intentional when your emotions can easily change your state of being. Often how we handle emotions comes from our family tree because what we see is often what we learn. But the good news is when we receive Christ we are adopted into a new family.
We become sons and daughters of Christ. We see this Mary comes looking for Jesus. The crowd tells Jesus that his mother is here to see him. His reply is interesting.
Matthew 12:50 ESV
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
But like in times of marriage we bring our baggage into our new family unit. This morning we talked about confidence and how confidence is a choice, but it’s often a choice we allow to be governed by our emotions. I don’t ever talk about it, but sometimes in my brain I catch myself thinking that “I hate my life.” It’s a common thought that I keep between my ears and never, until now, out of my mouth. The reason I bring out now is for several reason, but the biggest reason is to show how I deal with this thought in my life.
Disclaimer: I love my life. I love my wife, my kids, this church, my calling. I love God, but I have a very deep seated past reminded me constantly how much of a burden I was; how much of a failure I would become, and that I was a drain on society. These thoughts or emotions get so deeply ingrained that I still struggle with them 20 years later.
The first antidote to toxic emotions is
John 8:32 ESV
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Earlier this week I was reading an article called the weapon of silence. The entire article was written to show people how to use a silent pause to gain the upper hand in negotiations or conversations. The article states that after four seconds people get uncomfortable with the unknown silence provides. This simple silence has been known to make people so uncomfortable that they agree to a lower pay rate or a deal that is less than fair just to end the silence. This happens in part because we don’t like to be left to our own thoughts or emotions. We begin to doubt, to question everything we hold true. The reason is because we don’t have a firm grip on the truth.
The first thing I ask myself when that thought pops up is what do I hate about my life? Usually, unless something tragic has just happened I cannot come up with anything. The truth is that there isn’t anything in my life that I hate. There are things I need to work on like financial stability, weight control, and such, but nothing worth hating.
The simple pause between my thought and allowing it to become an emotion lets me submit the potentially harmful emotion to the truth.
Emotions are a good tool, but they aren’t the only tool in your arsenal. People are confronted with thoughts every day. God says Christians have joy, but I only experience pain and heartache. The bible tells me to be bold, but who am I? No one wants to listen to me! I’m only here to be Satan’s punching bag. I cannot be loved.
This waitress is wicked slow—you can begin to feel your blood boiling with anger.
Measured against truth we find each of these statements to be false. You are a child of God. Be angry, but don’t sin. It’s sin that unleashed evil not God’s desire to do me harm.
Another way to overcome emotions is to
Center Your Mind
In today’s society we are told to have an open mind. That because it’s a wide spread belief we are supposed to accept it as well. Anything other than an open mind in today’s society is old fashioned, racist, or hate-filled, but a centered mind filters everything through the word of God.
Paul states:
1 Corinthians 10:23 LEB
All things are permitted, but not all things are profitable. All things are permitted, but not all things build up.
Free will allows us to do whatever we want, but not everything is beneficial. We can take what people think and say to heart or we can let it go. We can take a moment of rage and unleash it—it’s our right anyway, but what good is it going to do to yell at the slow waitress? It own’t bring your food faster, but it might get it spit on.
The truth is we cannot be spiritual (lead by the spirit) and emotionally unbalanced at the same time and the only way to overcome our emotions to become emotionally and spiritually stable to is to invest in the pause, center your mind, and measure all with the truth.
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