Have you ever read something and just one sentence pops off the page at you? Yes, of course you have. But this happened to me on IG this morning. [@popupbookshop and @1pearsonlee]
I feel like we're in church right now. Because I've got a Word. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Neighbor. Tell your emotions, "You are not the boss of me." Because it's All-Star Weekend, turn to your other neighbor and say, "Neighbor. Don't let your emotions run the point." Now hug your neighbor. You may be seated.
Emotions are fickle! They're all: Today, I love chai tea. Tomorrow? Over it. Today I feel I have the next NYTimes Best Seller on my computer screen. Tomorrow? Delete, delete, delete. Today I have a cougar crush on Serge Ibaka. Tomorrow? Heh.
But you know what's not fickle? Your purpose: the job(s) God has given you to complete while you are here.
(Negative) emotions are tools that the enemy uses to control us.
In basketball, the point guard is the person who controls the ball. When they are calling the plays, it is called running the point. As soon as we lose focus on our objectives, or allow our emotions to run the point, we begin to bend to how we feel; twisting every experience into the fuel that feeds and strengthens those emotions while starving our purpose and trust in the Lord. If we are not alert and not playing defense, this is when the enemy grabs the rebound, hits the three pointer, or scores from half-court. And it's nothing but net.
Fear (which stems from feelings of inadequacy and not being enough) is used to keep us from trying new things, ending a bad relationship or awful job,. or soaring to great heights. Envy traps gratitude behind a barb-wired fence, ensuring that we remain unappreciative of what we have. Hurt and disappointment are designed to harden our hearts against others. Depression (in this case - a state of constant sadness from life's hardships) saps our energy and leaves us robotic, distant, and devoid of light.
How do they control us?
If we allow them to be, they are distractions from God and the purpose He has given us. If our hearts are hardened by envy and disappointment, we will not believe the promises that God has made - which leads to unbelief. If our hearts are hardened we will not be a blessing to anyone else. If we are envious, we are never satisfied with what we have and are hateful towards those who have what we feel we deserve. How many of us are capable of blessing a person we hate? Not many.
The fear renders us useless to everyone around us because we are stagnant; never growing. Stagnant water smells terrible because it is breeding ground for bad bacteria that cannot survive in clean water. Ultimately, your purpose is tied to being a blessing to others. How many people that you know are going to drink from the stagnant water? Not many. We are more inclined to gravitate toward the person in possession of the clean water. The person who does not allow fear to take charge. Unbeknownst to you, someone is waiting for you to share your gift because it will help them share theirs. Ask yourself this. If I am not being a blessing to others...what am I doing here?
In Acts 20:29-31 (MSG) Paul says, "I know that as soon as I'm gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus. So stay awake and keep up your guard..."
The disciple Paul was about to leave for Jerusalem when he called together the elders of Ephesus. He knew that He'd done what God had given him to do and was leaving them with advice on how to proceed in his absence. Paul understood that when left to their own devices, dissension, fueled by the enemy, would attack the faith and vision of the church elders from within. It could mean their own friends would turn on them, but often times it's not other people who are our greatest adversaries. Oftentimes, it is the lack of self-control over our emotional (and mental) state that does the most damage.
Also, all the time that we are concerned and hurt and worrying about these things that likely will not matter in the long run, time is slipping by us.
To use the original analogy, when you are working in your purpose and moving along in your journey, your emotions cannot run the show. As the director of your life, your emotions are the actors. Therefore, you are responsible for directing the "actors" if they are out of line with the scene you are shooting. The director calls, "Action." And the director calls, "Cut!" The referee officiates the game. The referee ejects players from the game. You are the director. You are the referee. You, not your emotions, are the point guard.
When the emotions are allowed to dictate, they take over the production and the end result is not a part of the original vision. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we should stifle our emotions. Emotions are a barometer of the state of the heart. They tell us that things are in alignment and the tell us when things are not. But when it's time to get things done, they have to be checked at the door.
They are NOT, as you told your neighbor, the boss of you.