I have this new puppy named Bree. She is a British lab and I gotta tell ya, she’s awesome. My only issues with her right now are that she chews up everything in sight (which is a lab thing), and she smells funny. She smells bad, according to my wife.
One of the things I love about dogs though is how excited they are to see you. They jump and wag their tails and just go nuts. But they can really sense when you aren’t happy as well. And if they do something bad and you chastise them, they really get sad. I don’t know about other dogs, but labs pout like crazy.
I think we are a lot like Bree at times. We feed off people around us. We rise and fall with their moods. We feed off their energy. When they are mad at us, we get upset. When they are happy with us, it makes our day.
A part of this is just plain old human emotion, but satan would really love to take advantage of this to control your life. He wants you on that roller coaster of emotion whereby you make your decisions and receive your identity from how people around you feel and how their emotions affect yours.
When we live our lives by what other people think about us, we are going to be hurt. Emotions are terrible things to live by. And emotions will never tell you what is really going on.
Is that to say emotions are bad? Of course not. God gave us emotions. In fact, God has emotions. But emotions should never dictate our next steps, they should point to our next steps. Emotions are a guide to help us respond appropriately, how God wants us to respond, not the response themselves.
The danger of living and dying by the emotional energy we get from people is twofold: First, we begin to develop our identity from it. If you develop your identity from the roller coaster of emotions in and around you, you will never be secure in who you are. Our identity can only be found in Jesus. And second, when we live by the affirmation or denial that we get from others, then we are elevating that opinion above what God says about us. 2 Corinthians 10:5 has something to say about that.
Emotions aren’t bad and we need affirmation, but we have to be sure we use emotions properly and get affirmation from the right source. When both of these things are centered around and received from God, we are able to correctly interpret our world around us and are better able to be comfortable in who God says we are.
So take a moment and speak to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you properly use your emotions. Ask him to help you receive affirmation from the right source. Ask God to show you what he thinks and says about you. You don’t have to rise and fall with the emotional energy in and around you. You can get off that roller coaster and begin to walk on the solid ground of who God says you are.