I really don’t think my older kids realize how influential they are to their younger siblings. This morning, my oldest wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of doing schoolwork. So, I sent them all outside to play. Of course, my oldest- who was not in a great mood, huffed his way outside. But the youngest followed him. He sat down on the hill. His little brother sat down next to him. He laid on the hill. His little brother laid down. He stood up and huffed towards the tire swing. Baby brother did the same. Then out of frustration, my oldest flung the tire swing not realizing his little brother was only steps behind him.
Luckily little brother saw the swing and walked around it, but truthfully, this could have been ugly. My son let his frustration out on the swing, but that swing could have hit his brother. Though he had no intention of hurting his brother, he could have. He was so engrossed in his emotions that he didn’t even realize his baby brother was walking right behind him mirroring every step.
Anger… Frustration… Fear… All those negative emotions… They’re not bad or wrong. They’re real. They need to be processed. We were designed to have those emotions, even Jesus had them. But they need to be handled properly. Sometimes, I think for the next 18 years I will be quoting Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry but do not sin.” Maybe I should just paint a huge sign and hang it in the living room. If only it were as easily done as said.
It’s so easy to give into our emotions. But when we do, they consume us. They change the way we see things. They cause us to respond to situations differently. They put us on edge. They cause us to act by slinging a tire swing which may cause a brother to fall and get hurt.
If we don’t control our emotions, our emotions will control us. And the result- We will give the enemy a foothold. And he will drive a pry bar in there to wreck your spiritual walk.
We have a real enemy. And it’s not that person who is driving you crazy. It’s not that situation either. It’s not your husband. It’s not your child. It’s not your nosey neighbor. Or your ex.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Yes, we have an enemy. Yes, his goal is to separate you from God. Yes, he will use your emotions to do that.
If you have given into the tempation of your flesh and let emotions run out of control, please know- I get it. I was just there… last week. I understand how hard this battle can be. But ladies, if we do this, we are truly allowing room for the enemy to get in the middle of God’s work!
In the words of Lysa Terkeurst, “Our feelings are indicators not dictators.”
When used properly, they are beautiful. Those negative feelings protect us. They let us know something is wrong. They allow us to understand.
When used in the flesh, those feelings justify slander, gossip, betrayal, and more. Additionally, they cloud our ability to see truth.
We must guard our hearts. We must fill our hearts with God’s word. We must turn to Him. Get on our knees and pray. Do not give the enemy a foothold on your heart!
It’s easy to give into your flesh. It’s supernatural to give your pain, anger, frustration to the Lord and trust that His ways are higher.