Stacey Smith was once defined by her emotions. They had enabled her to become a criminal with a 60 year sentence, have a series of broken relationship which left her disposed to a series of abortions, struggle with a $500 a day drug habit, and be incarcerated for 12 years in Arizona’s Department of Corrections. It was while she was in prison paying her “debt to society” when Christ freed her of the spiritual indebtedness she carried. Her testimony is a powerful word of redemption and rejoicing, and living emotionally steadfast through the consequences her past has given her.
In her breakout session on Unpredictable Emotions, she speaks about the Achilles’ heal for most women: their emotions, that ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings that make it hard for every woman to separate fact from feeling (fiction).
Testifying on how living by emotions can ruin a life, Stacey pled with each woman to be cautious when dealing with their emotions. They can cause you to sin against a Holy God.
“You and I will throw away the TRUTH for an emotion.” I sat there in an “a-ha” moment of self-revelation. She was right. We will throw away what’s right, what we KNOW is true, for that emotion. And then we rationalize it. We say “It’s that time of the month.” PMS –Like we think it’s OK to sin once a month as long as we do things in the name of PMS. We say, “I just have to let it out,” but when we do we are not practicing those things that we know are true. For instance, you know your husband loves you, but “If your husband does not say ‘I love you’ the right way, he doesn’t love you.”
“I don’t care how deep the pain is, I don’t care how deep the hurt is. It is NOT RIGHT to sin against God.”
Stacey suggested three different equations you can use when dealing with your emotions.
1. Emotions (how something makes you feel) + Will (Decisions Making) = Overcomes the Mind (How you think) – When someone offends you like a friend, a spouse, or a family member. Your emotions say, “I’m not going to forgive” and you want to become vengeful. But the will, the part that makes your decisions, says, “But vengeance is wrong.” So instead you just stay silent…and you give the silent treatment. “Nothing’s wrong, I’m not going to retaliate. I am just not going to TALK to that person for three days.”
2. Emotions + Mind = Overcomes Will – You want to do something that you know is wrong, whether it’s an immoral relationship, a compromising situation, or ethical dilemma. Your emotions tell you, “How could something that feels so right be so wrong?” And decisions are made based on your emotions. Over and over again the decisions you make just keep getting worse and worse.
3. Mind + Will = Overcomes Emotions. – If we want to overcome our emotions, there must be combining of the mind (what we think) and the will (the choices we make). So often, however, our emotions can’t change because our thinking must be the first to change.
Phil 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Christ wants you to think from HIS mindset. If you can gain the thinking, the conduct comes right along.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
When your emotions are going crazy you need to first ask yourself: What is TRUE?
And whatever isn’t TRUTH, don’t throw it out for an emotion. It is the key to demolishing those “arguments and pretensions” that are setting themselves up against Christ. Take captive every thought and cling to truth. For the truth will set you free.