Feelings Don’t Have to Ruin Your Life

Negative emotions can make your life hard or set the stage for your failure.

Negative emotions: fear, trepidation, hatred, jealousy, anger, resentment, loneliness, greed and discouragement.

Those are all emotions we feel but are not forced to follow. You are not required to obey your feelings, even though sometimes we yield to them to our own demise.

Negative emotions can cause you to lose what is already yours.

Have you ever lost a potential spouse or friend because of jealousy? You did not see him with anyone; you did not hear him on the phone with another woman, but you have this gut feeling. Well, because of that gut feeling, many lose good relationships or things that are more important.

Negative emotions have the potential to change the value of what you see. They can change reality.

The story is told of a starving alligator who saw a monkey on a tree and wanted it for lunch. So, he concocted a story. He said, hey monkey, my mom is sick and needs monkey liver as a medication for her illness. The monkey himself needed to leave the alligator-infested area, but to do so, he had to swim across a river filled with alligators. So, he replied, I would be happy to oblige, but I know where you can get bigger and juicier monkey livers – the kinds that will not only heal your mom’s illness but satisfy your hunger. If you carried me across the river, you would find monkeys. There, their livers are as big as my head.

As greed set in, the possibility of a larger meal took precedence over the real meal in front of him. So, Alligator agreed and allowed monkey on his back. They swam across the river avoiding other reptiles in the water. When they were near the shore, monkey leapt off alligator onto the riverbank and run as fast as he could. Saying in the process, “you feel for liver, eh? Go eat your mother’s ‘liva.’ His greed saw the non-existent dinner instead of the one Infront of him.

Negative emotions can impair your vision and judgement

In Numbers 13, there is a story about how situations of fear distracted Israel from possessing land that was theirs.

In Numbers 13, The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. At the end of forty days, they returned from exploring the land. When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them… They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak (giants) there. Their thighs were bigger than us.

The first part of the report contained happiness and optimism; the second part conveyed fear. Unfortunately, they focused on the latter part. They continued, … “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” It is one thing for people to see you as small and inadequate; it is a whole different story to see yourself that way.

An elephant is 10 times the size of a lion and 3 times its height, but how come lions eat or destroy elephants and not elephants outfighting lions? That is because when an elephant sees a lion it sees danger, when the lion sees the elephant, it sees food. One is driven by fear of danger, the other is driven by achievement.

In the case of the Israelites, there was both food and potential danger, but they chose to perceive the danger instead of the reward. Michael Jordon once said, “Limits, like fear, is just an illusion.” Those types of feelings have a way of skewing reality and cause us to see ourselves as incapable, inadequate and weak. They do that to us even though, like Israel, God has promised success.

Again, our negative emotions can distort our view. Greed, hunger and selfishness can also obscure our priorities, like pussycat that went to London: Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do there?

I frightened a little mouse under her chair.

Pussy cat’s desire to find mice, or perhaps hunger, coloured the view of what he saw in London. In all of London, pussycat only saw a mouse under a chair, although he went there to see the queen. The attitude and emotion with which you enter a situation will determine what you get out of that situation.

As the Israelites began to drown in fear and complain about the peril they face …Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

Where the other spies saw giants – Caleb saw opportunity.

Where they saw the powerful, Caleb saw the omnipotent God.

Where they saw defeat, he saw victory in Jesus.

Where they saw a fortified city, he saw a God that could destroy mighty walls with just a shout and a trumpet.

Three ways fear or negative emotions can make your problems seem bigger than God:

1 When we forget our past experiences with God:

However, we must remember the days of old; …meditate on all that God has done; ponder the work of his hands (Psalm 143:5). For us not to be overtaken by negative emotions, we must remember how God helped us in the past.

2 When we fail to exercise patience: they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

3 When we make our struggles bigger than God: Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Jeremiah).

Finally, negative emotions can separate you from what God intents for your life. So, open your heart – let Jesus in to displace all negative emotions. He said, behold, I am at the door, if you open, I will come in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend