Guarding Our Emotions

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Emotions can be powerful forces in our lives, driving us to places we would rather not go. A big part of guarding our hearts involves keeping our emotions under control. The reason for this is that our emotions drive our hearts.  Do you want a wild and careless driver driving your heart? I don’t think so. We all want the driver of our heart to drive safely so that we reach our destination in one piece and without regrets.

So, who should be in the driver’s seat of your heart?  There is only one safe driver: Holy Spirit. When Holy Spirit is driving your heart, you will be safe and reach your destination unharmed. 

You may be asking, “Who is Holy Spirit?”  Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, the One Whose job it is to drive your heart.  It is we, however, who must hand over the keys to Holy Spirit.  How do you and I do this?

1) In every situation, we must make God’s Word our final authority.  Here’s a practical example.  Let’s say you are married but are attracted to another man, maybe even at church.  Maybe you serve together in the same ministry  (Satan loves to arrange these kinds of situations that appear harmless but are really traps).  You find that you enjoy being with this man, that he “understands” you in a way your husband does not.  So, the man invites you to have a cup of coffee with him after your ministry meeting. You feel a twinge of a check in your spirit, but you rationalize that there’s really nothing wrong with having coffee with him. After all, he’s your brother in Christ. So, you go out for coffee. As you talk, you notice that he’s really listening to you, that he affirms you, that he values your opinion. A sharp contrast with your husband. Before you know it, you’ve fallen into emotional adultery which, if not stopped, could eventually lead to physical adultery. 

So, what do you do? You go to God’s Word from the get-go. The Word says to “give no appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22).  This means that even if something is not inherently wrong, we must not do it if it could come across as wrong. A Christian woman going out alone for coffee with a Christian man who is not her husband (or blood brother) may not always be inherently wrong, but it looks wrong because it can arouse suspicion. So, don’t do it!  If your Christian brother invites you out for coffee, bring your husband with you, and vice versa.  Guard your heart!  The same applies to other situations where there is a question about a certain action. Always go to God’s Word first and determine what He says about it. Then do what He says.

2) Listen to your conscience.  The conscience serves as a traffic light for your heart. When we are about to do something that is not right, the light turns red, warning us to stop. When we are about to do something that is okay to do, the light remains green, confirming that it is safe to proceed.  When we are facing a decision that is not clear but could be a problem, the light turns yellow.  If you get a yellow light, stop and pray.  Do not rush through the yellow light.  Wait for God to make the path clear as to what you should do or not do.

3) Stay immersed in God’s Word. When a bank teller is in training, he never handles counterfeit money. He handles only real money so that when a counterfeit bill crosses his hands, he will instantly recognize it. When we handle the Word of God continually, we will instantly recognize when Satan tries to trick us with something contrary to the Word of God.

Emotions are deceptive because they present themselves as the truth. For instance, you may feel that God doesn’t love you, but that is not the truth.  You may feel like a failure, but that is not the truth.  You may feel hopeless, but that is not the truth.  The truth is only what God says in His Word.  God says He loves you, you are more than a conqueror, and in Him you have hope.  When your emotions and God’s Word do not agree, your emotions are lying to you.

Remember: Satan wants to be in the driver’s seat of your heart.  He will try to trick you into giving him the keys to your heart. He will do this by manipulating your emotions. The only way you can avoid his wicked trap is to cling to Jesus.  Let His Holy Spirit alone drive your heart.  Stay immersed in the Word of God. If you do, you will reach the end of life’s journey unscathed and unharmed. You will enter into the eternal joy that God has prepared for those who love Him and obey Him.

Questions: 1) What trap is Satan currently setting for you? 2) Are you aware of his wicked schemes in your life? 3) What will you do to become more aware?  You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.