Check Your Motives
Over the last year I have had to face some very difficult decisions. Emotions ran high. These were decisions that could greatly impact the people I love the most. I found myself struggling to know how to react. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell. I wanted to throw things. I wanted to cause damage. The frustration I felt inside was powerful.
Truth is some days I did scream. For a short time, I would pull out my voice memos and just go off like I was leaving a voicemail for the person who made me angry. I had so much built up inside of me that it HAD to come out. What I didn’t want though, was for my emotions to cause me more problems. I wanted to behave in a Godly manner and surly screaming and yelling at someone was not the Godly way.
In a previous blog post I wrote, what goes in must come out, I learned to surround myself with people who I trusted. People I could be honest with that wouldn’t judge me for how I was feeling. People who would remind me I was better than the way I was choosing to act and that my God was much bigger than my problems. They spoke life in me when I couldn’t do it for myself. They reminded me to “check my motives”. Why did I want to say those things? Why did I want to react that way? And then, how did I truly want to react?
It’s normal to have emotions but it’s important to get to the root of the emotions. I think deep down we all know the answer but maybe we buried it deep or ignored it for so long that we forgot. I believe if we sit with your emotions and ask God to reveal it, we’ll find our answer. Our behavior is a choice. Good, bad or otherwise, it’s a choice. We choose to let our emotions control us or we chose to control them.
Last night at Bible study a verse was shared that I had heard many times but never explained in this way. Mathew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” In the Greek language of this time meek meant “to be bridled” which means to bring something under control. This reminded me that its ok to feel the emotions, to be passionate about certain topics but how we act on them is a choice.
So, check your motives. What is your purpose? What do you want to accomplish with your actions or words? I learned that there are people who would LOVE to see me step out of character, to see me lose it and get ugly. I am certainly capable of that, but I have made a different choice for myself. God has brought me through deep valleys, valleys I got myself into. But the mountains I am climbing now are far more rewarding than giving anyone the satisfaction of knocking back down in a valley. That’s exactly what can happen if I allow my emotions to have control.
The bible says the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but he only has the power we give him because God already defeated him and took his power away. He does this my planting lies in our heads or distracting us from our priorities. He tells us things like “you’re a terrible mother”, so you might lose sight of helping your child through a difficult season in a loving way. “You’re not good enough”, so that you won’t try out for that sport you really love. “You deserve what you get”, so you will settle for less than you deserve. “You’ll never amount to anything”, so that you accept your mistakes and failures as defeat and stop trying to better yourself. “That’s a silly dream”, so you won’t set goals and strive to accomplish them. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
On top of that, people in our lives project their fears on us. They say the same things; we say to ourselves which adds to our belief in the lies. This is why it’s so important for us to choose our thoughts wisely and to also choose those we surround ourselves with.
Often these lies make us react poorly. We argue to prove people wrong so that we feel justified by our behavior. We tear others down so that we feel better about ourselves. We yell so we can feel heard. We fight because we have felt mistreated. We try to fix people because we wished someone would have fixed us when we felt broken. We steal because we feel like we deserve things but life is unfair. We lie so that we don’t have to face the consequences of our choices. What we should do instead is stop avoiding the emotions and take them to God.
Get to the root of the issue. Ask “why?” and then “why?” again. Keep asking why until you know your answer. Ask God to reveal the lie to you so that you can address it head on. You can’t replace a lie with a truth until you know the truth. Knowing what God says about you is the best way to bring out the lies. Once I started seeking what God says about me it made it much easier to see the lies, I was telling myself and the lies the world wanted me to believe.
It’s ok to not be ok sometimes, we just have to remember to always seek the one who knows the truth.