Choosing to Be Intentional with Your Emotions by Dr. Randy Carlson
If your emotional reaction to life is keeping you from being successful in any of the five essential areas of your life, why settle for it? It’s time to become intentional and act. It’s time to do two things that can change your emotions for good.
You can choose to be intentional with your emotions. Emotions get their start in our thoughts. Thinking is a precursor to almost everything that happens in life. Our thoughts drive our emotions, and our emotions drive our actions. For example, let’s say I’m having a difficult day and I’m thinking, life’s not fair, people aren’t treating me well. That thinking might lead me to comfort myself by eating comfort food. For you it might be going to the mall and buying yourself something new, spending money you don’t really have. Maybe you lose your patience and get angry. Do you see where this could lead to a vicious cycle? When we change our minds, we can change our lives. The Bible says in Proverbs as a man thinks of himself, he is. Emotions get their start in our thoughts.
A second way of looking at this is to start with our actions. If you change your actions, you will change your emotions. If you’re feeling down, get up and go for a walk or read the Bible. Sometimes you have to say, “Hey, I don’t feel like it, but I’m going to do it anyway.” With just a little bit of action, you’ll start to feel better. In order to deal with our emotions, we have to either start with our thinking or with our actions.
As far as I’m concerned the most effective thing you can do to successfully manage your emotions is to choose to think and behave like Christ. This message is written throughout scripture, but one of my favorite passages is “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6 NKJV
The Apostle Paul gives clear instruction. It’s very action-oriented. He’s saying, “Do these things.” He’s not saying you have to feel anything at this point. He’s just saying to do it. If you want to change your emotions, you can start right here. Interestingly, Paul goes on saying, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV. This is how you can choose to think like Christ – today!
It’s hard to remember God is with us when life feels like it is upside down. Cancer Survivor Laura Wilson learned God is sovereign even when it doesn’t feel like it because of our circumstances. She says life can be scary, ugly and hard. Adversity comes in this fallen world, but we are not alone. God is listening. God is in control. Laura says it can be a moment by moment decision to trust Him that’s why life is a race of faith. Laura encourages us to hold onto our hope in Christ. She has more in her new book Strength to Run.
As we reflect on 2017, what was your biggest blessing of the year? God is faithful!
It may seem difficult to pick just one. Laura is grateful her brother has been healed of cancer. Bryan is thankful for a healthy and happy family. Audrey is excited for her husband’s job promotion. Rod recognizes not everyone is blessed with being able to see all of their family for the holidays, he treasures the fact that he can! Heather is appreciative of God’s provision to go to Seminary.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (New International Version – NIV)
We are forgiven by God. He loves us. It is easier said than done to transfer that head knowledge to heart knowledge, so we can forgive ourselves. Love yourself as a child of God. It’s easier said than done because of the hurt we experience this side of Heaven. Place those hurts at God’s feet. He is the healer.
Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. Psalm 30:2
Believe Him for the healing and by doing so, we point the glory back to God! Darren Mulligan from We Are Messengers shares the story behind their song Point to You.
Needtobreathe and Matt Maher collaborated on the song Walking on Water. Bear from Needtobreathe and Matt Maher reveal what they were thinking of as they created the song. They focus on the good that came from Peter’s example in Matthew 14 when he got out of the boat to walk on water and obey Jesus. When we focus on Jesus nothing is impossible. Focusing on Jesus means focusing on love. The glass is half full, not half empty! Jesus doesn’t require us to be perfect. He asks us to trust Him and take the first step. Will you take the first step?
Big Daddy Weave‘s I’ll Be Brave This Christmas has special meaning for Family Life Radio member, Robert. He remembers the Christmas his dad was serving the United States of America in Vietnam. Robert had to be brave that Christmas. He shared his dad with our country 50 years ago. Christmas 1967 was a hard one for Robert. It makes him appreciate the opportunities he’s had since to celebrate Christmas with loved ones.
Robert reflects on the appreciation he has for the sacrifice our current soldiers and their families are giving, when they can’t be home for the holidays. Freedom isn’t free.
Who is Jesus? He is the anointed one. When Francesca Battistelli sat down to write Messiah, her goal was to not just have the lyrics of a Christmas song sound like a worship song, but feel like it too. Listen as she shares the story behind the song.
Jesus is our savior! There are so many names for The Lord. He is the son of God and son of Man. The story of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem on that Holy night reminds us to worship our Savior this season. Christ is the long awaited promise for God’s people. He is our hope!
Holiday spending shows our society has forgotten the real reason for the season.
Many of us go into to debt to buy Christmas presents.
Last year, 63% of Baby Boomers, 58% of Generation-Xers, and 40% of Millennials took on debt.
Most Americans plan to spend $660 this year.
Family Life Radio member Adam shares how he avoids the busy stores this time of year.
Chuck Bentley of Crown has some tips to help you avoid the holiday spending trap.
- Pray and seek guidance from the Lord
- Reset priorities and adjust lifestyle
- Renew your mind with truth
- Seek accountability with a trusted friend
- Plan ahead
- Pay cash
- Avoid social media
- Take an extra job to avoid debt
- Sell some items
- Build savings now for next Christmas
Family Life Radio Member Rebecca is reminded to come before the presence of the Lord, worship and adore Him when she hears the Christmas hymn O Come All Ye Faithful. It took on even deeper meaning when her husband of 40 years passed away.
Rebecca has peace knowing her husband is in the presence of the Lord. She says it’s worthy of celebration to know the Lord fully.
May you get lost in worship!
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come, and behold Him, born the King of angels!
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!
Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation;
sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest![Refrain]
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! [Refrain]
The bible tells us to love God and love people. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matt 22:37-39 We combine the two when we serve others.
Family Life Radio member Layla shares her experience of the hands and feet of Jesus.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:7-8
Do It for Him
Have you noticed it’s easy to think that freedom is doing what you want to do—doing what makes you feel good? That’s not as satisfying as it may first appear. When “self” is indulged it just usually wants more, and the thirst is never fully quenched. Yet, there is such joy in serving others. This doesn’t come naturally; you must rely on God’s power through His Holy Spirit to lead you.
Jesus lived the example of giving up His own desires for God’s will and His love for people. He served in the ultimate way so that humans can be truly free from the bondage of self-focused indulgence that leads to wanting more and more.
Do you find yourself dissatisfied? Tweak your perspective. Ask God for His help, and discover the reward of freedom in service to others.
Today’s One Thing
Choose to do something for another and enjoy God’s rewards of focusing on someone else’s needs.
– Dr. Randy Carlson of Intentional Living.