“A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” (Proverbs 29:11 NKJV).
You are not a normal human being if you cannot express your feelings or emotions. But, you are a fool if you cannot control your feelings or emotions.
Solomon attests, “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” (Prov. 29:11 NKJV).
“He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.” (Prov. 14:29 NKJV).
God created us with capacity to evince or express diverse emotions. Without such capacity, we are not better than robots. It will undoubtedly be difficult to relate well with one another without being able to feel or express any emotions or feelings.
Can you imagine a world full of people without the capacity to express their emotions?
That would certainly be a very dull, boring, and uninteresting world!
In contrast, can you imagine a world full of people with no control over their emotions?
That would certainly be a wild, dangerous, and unsafe place to live!
While your capacity for emotions was given to you by God, it is however your personal responsibility to control or restrain your emotions, especially the negative emotions.
The Scripture commands you to “Put an end to your wrath and be no longer bitter; do not give way to angry feeling which is a cause of sin.” (Psa. 37:8 BBE).
It is absolutely untrue to think that you cannot control your negative feelings!
Uncontrolled negative emotions have ruined many lives, homes, relationships, marriages, businesses, and organizations. If you allow any negative emotions to rule, dominate, control, or drive you, it may eventually ruin you and everything that is precious to you.
The history is replete with many accounts of great ruins brought upon fools who fail to restrain or control their negative emotions or feelings.
The Bible does not hide from us the terrible effects of uncontrolled negative emotions in people’s lives. The Bible also shows us how to deal with or control negative emotions lest they ruin our lives.
Cain became the first murderer, fugitive and vagabond on earth because he would not control, rule, and restrain his negative emotions, particularly his anger and envy.
Although God warned Cain to rule over his negative emotions, yet he surrendered to them. Consequently, his negative emotions drove him into killing his brother, Abel (Gen. 4:6-7).
Like Cain, many people today have become murderers, fugitives and vagabonds because they would not control their negative, wild or violent emotions or tempers.
Moses, a great leader and prophet of God, made a grave mistake in a moment of an uncontrolled emotion (anger) which hindered him from entering into the Promised Land.
Moses’ anger drove him to strike the rock twice instead of speaking to the rock as commanded by God (Num. 20:1-12).
Like Moses, when you fail to control your negative and wild emotions, you are prone to making grave mistakes. Therefore, it is very crucial for you to control your negative emotions and not let them control you.
How do you control your negative, wild or violent emotions?
First, by taking responsibility for your negative emotions:
Until you quit blaming others for your bad tempers, outburst of negative emotions, and wild or violent actions or reactions; you will never be able to deal effectively with them.
While you may not have full control over what people say and do to you, however, you have full control over how you will react or respond to them.
This is why the Scripture admonishes you to be slow to wrath.
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (NKJV).
If you continue to justify or make excuses for your negative emotions – sorrow, depression, fear, anger, worry, or anxiety – you will only remain a puppet or slave to your emotions.
Nobody or situation is responsible for the way you feel other than yourself!
Second, by renewing your mind according to God’s Word:
Your emotions are not controlled from outside, but from within you. Your soul or mind is the control centre for your emotions. You respond or react to people or situation based on your perception, imagination, or mindset.
For instance, it is what you have considered, imagined, or thought to be dangerous or life- threatening that you will be afraid of. Your mindset determines, shapes, influences or controls your emotions or feelings. Your feelings flow in the direction of your thoughts.
Your mind is primarily responsible for the way you feel!
When you are thinking good thoughts, you will naturally feel good. But, when you are thinking bad thoughts, you will feel bad. This is why you feel good, relaxed, happy, or excited in the presence of someone you have considered or settled in your mind to be your lover or friend.
On the other hand, you feel terrible, upset or sad when you remember or think about someone who has hurt, betrayed, abused or maltreated you in the past and who you have not truly forgiven.
Beloved, it is the thought that you allow to rule or to dominate your mind that will ultimately determine, shape, influence, or control your emotions or feelings. This is why the Scripture says, “For as the thoughts of his heart are, so is he…” (Prov. 23:7 BBE).
Therefore, the battle to control your emotions is either won or lost in your mind. If you fail to take control of your thoughts, you cannot control your emotions or feelings. If you fail to rule your mind, you will also fail to rule your emotions or feelings.
Friend, your meditation greatly affects, determines, or influences your emotions. Your feelings are according to your thinking. It is what you constantly think upon that you will eventually feel.
This is why Paul admonishes you to be careful of what you meditate upon.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. (NKJV).
If you always think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report; your feelings will follow suit.
Your feelings will always come after, flow along, or align with your thoughts. This is why you must constantly renew your mind by diligently and constantly imbibing or taking in the words or teachings of Christ and His early apostles.
If the Word of Christ dwells richly in you, your emotions will align with God’s Word. When you let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, your thinking and your feelings will be ruled, dominated, influenced and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
This is why Paul admonishes you to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16 NKJV).
Find out more about how to control your negative emotions in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I choose to control my negative emotions by renewing my mind according to the words of Christ. Help me Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.