Emotional Toll

Man walks into house.
Man finds wife crying.
Man angry at friend for making wife cry.
Man driven by wife’s tears.
Man makes series of wrong decisions.

In the anecdote above, the problem is not the emotions of the moment.  It is as natural to cry and mourn as it is to be elated and rejoice.  The problem comes when decisions and life are driven by emotions.

Emotions are a good thing.  They represent a fundamental reality of being human and help us reflect our emotional God.  Emotions have their place, but those tricky little devils like to get out of line.  Emotions must be a response to truth; truth cannot be dictated by emotions.   In the heat of the moment, this can be tough to remember since emotions tend to cloud judgment and drive men to improper actions.  Christians, then, must learn to control their emotions which, truth be told, is easier said than done.

The descriptions of a real man that can often be dismissed as weak or girly are, in fact, much harder to master than simply letting your emotions run wild.  The biblical concepts of humility and gentleness (derived in the Greek from the act of taming a wild horse) take much discipline and spiritual fortitude to practice.  After all, we would all agree that the proverbial man in the bar who calls the guy who refuses to fight a “wimp” is actually the weaker of the two as he is ready to give into emotions and let his fists fly while the truly strong one is controlling his emotions, thoughts, and, hence, his fists.

Decisions based on emotions are not a good thing.  We must live by truth and not by feelings.  This is one of the reasons we are commanded not to get “drunk with wine” (Eph. 5:18), a command found in the context of a warning against foolishness (lacking reason, ignorant) and an imperative to encourage others with the truth of  God.  Paul also tells us to let our minds dwell on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute as well as anything of excellence and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8).  In other words, think on objective truth not subjective emotions.

I take no pleasure in seeing anyone cry, but the heart-wrenching nature of the situation at hand must not replace biblical truth as the authority of your will and the root of your decisions.


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