The mindshare for today’s devotional came from Dr. Neil Anderson. His thoughts are in italics. I hope that God will grow and/or sort you out as you read.
Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.”
Telling someone that they shouldn’t feel the way they do is a subtle form of rejection. They can do little about how they feel. The real problem is that they have a wrong perception of their situation which is making them feel the way they do. You can’t change how you feel, but you can change what you think.
For example, I had a crazy schedule which forced me to work all day on Saturday…the very day my college football team played against my dreaded rival. Being a GA Tech grad, my “hated” rivalry is University of Georgia. Sting those Dawgs! What if after finishing my work at the office, I received a call from a friend who stated Tech got beat again 28-14. Candidly, I would be depressed with another poor performance from my alma mater. In matter of moments, my emotions would take me to the bottom! I decided not to check my voicemail or receive phone calls…no need to get into a deeper level of despair. I had already become discouraged on my own…I didn’t need others piling on with glum comments. Because of my negative emotions, I stewed all the way home in depression.
As soon as I opened the door at home, Pam shouted out with great excitement, “CONGRATULATIONS! WHAT A WIN FOR THE YELLOW JACKETS. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT YELLOW JACKETS BEAT THE DAWGS 28-14?! GO TECH!!” Wait a minute, you mean that I have been despondent over the last couple of hours for nothing. I emotionally perceived that we lost again. As truth became my reality, I shouted in truth and victory.
What I initially believed didn’t reflect truth, so what I felt didn’t reflect reality.
Never forget, let truth drive your bus not deceitful perceptions. Perceptions often falsely and unhealthily communicate lies to your emotions driving you into depression! However, if you believe truth, you walk in peace and victory.
John in his gospel, 8:31-32&44 reveal the TRUTH of the matter:
- “31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- “44 Your father…was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Lies from the devil (negative perceptions) are deceitful and hurtful (“a murderer”). Yet, emotionally we build sick, dark, scarring strongholds over and over again within us which have become our false reality.
The order of Scripture is to know the truth, believe it, walk according to it, and let your emotions be a product of your obedience. When you believe what you feel instead of the truth, how will your walk be? As inconsistent as your feelings. But when you believe and act on the truth, your feelings will reflect reality. Jesus said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17).
Prayer: Lord, I commit myself to follow Your Word and do right. I want to enjoy the positive emotions that come from obedience.