I am the world's worse person in regards to overreacting emotionally. I cry easily (whether happy, sad or overcome by God's goodness), laugh quickly, feel sad deeply and respond angrily when one of my triggers is pulled.
I am melancholy and emotional; but thankfully, God's Spirit is transforming my negative traits over the years. I am learning to be spirit-controlled, so that His fruit replaces my carnal tendencies (Galatians 5:22-23).
Yet, I am still not perfect. The biggest gift God gave to me is the ability to process my feelings before I express them. This often results in me staring blankly at someone and causing an uncomfortable void in the conversation.
They expect a reaction and I'm sitting numb before them. However, this is healthier than blasting them with anger or a fit of tears and confusing them with my fleshly responses.
Hunger, sleep deprivation, stress and emotional depletion will make us more vulnerable to overreacting with negative emotions. Removing those hindrances is of paramount importance.
I also learned to say, "I will talk to my husband about that and we will pray about it together. Then I will let you know." Some impatient people want an instant reply, but that is never wise to give to anyone about anything.
Journaling my feelings and my responses to their comment or request helps me to sort through my initial reactions. The Holy Spirit may even reveal unresolved conflicts in my subconscious mind that triggered the immediate negative response in me.
God's Spirit is teaching me to abide in my spirit instead of in my flesh and soul - thoughts, choices and emotions. I filter life through my spirit and then take stock of my emotional and physical responses. This is called setting a boundary, and it gives us space and time to hear God's wisdom.
Father God, teach us to respond to life and to people with the same care, compassion and love which Jesus exhibited during His lifetime. He did speak harshly to some people, like the Pharisees, but He had the authority to do this and we do not. Fill us with Your compassion and give us Your heart toward people, especially toward the household of Your Saints - the church.
Help us to mix Your wisdom with our emotional responses and to take the time to allow this to occur, even if it means that we do not say anything at all when someone says or does or requests something from us. It may be awkward for the moment, but it will prevent embarrassing and needless confrontation or apologies, and increase our effectiveness for Your Kingdom in this world.
Thought for the Day:
Once the past, the current and the fearful future issues of our life are dealt with in our mind, then we can hear God's will about the matters at hand and walk in His Spirit while we pray without ceasing and obey His direction. - Proverbs 3:5-6