Pastor Shane Ham : Taming Your Tough Emotions

Damaged Goods · 52:31 · Recorded November 13, 2016

Taming Your Tough Emotions

Proverbs 25:28 (NASB) Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.

Some helpful perspectives:

God has emotions.

My ability to feel is a gift from God.

Genesis 1:26 (NIV) Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”

I have to be careful to avoid extremes!

There are stuffers.

Jeremiah 15:17-18 (GN) “…I stayed by myself and was filled with anger. Why do I keep on suffering? Why are my wounds incurable? Why won’t they heal?”

There are exploders.

Genesis 4:5, 8 (GN) “Cain became furious and he scowled in anger… And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel, and killed him.”

There are prisoners.

Proverbs 15:15 (NLT) For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

There are manipulators.

Luke 15:28 (GW) “Then the older son became angry and wouldn’t go into the house. His father came out and begged him to come in.”

So what do I do?

1. Name it properly.

What am I really feeling?

2. Assess it regularly.

Where did it come from? Is it based on truth?

Proverbs 13:16 (TEV) Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance.

3. Appraise it truthfully.

Is it worth it?

4. Surrender it humbly.

Have I given it to God?

Psalm 42:5-6 (NIV) Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar.

5. Share it openly.

Who have I confided in about it?

With God.

With significant others.

6. Work at it heartily.

Am I giving it my all?

Colossians 3:15 (NLT) And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.

Study & Discussion Questions
  • What area of your life would you compare to a “city that is broken into and without walls”? What will you do to regain that missing measure of self-control? How might others in your small group help you shore up those weaker areas?
  • Before today, had you ever identified that your emotions are another of the gifts God has given you? How does knowing that help you maintain a healthy perspective?
  • Of the four types of extremes Pastor Shane talked about, which one do you tend toward the most? Share this with a trusted friend or your small group and lay out some plans now about how you can handle your emotions differently in the future. Take this to God and ask if you’re on the right path, and for his help and blessing as you try to honor him with your emotions.
  • Our perceptions are one of the largest influences on what dictates our behavior. The section titled, “So what do I do?” helps us take what we’ve perceived and deal with the truth of it. Review these six steps and the questions associated with each. Stop and think of a situation causing you stress or anger or resentment. Thinking specifically of this, pray. With God, go through each of the six steps answering honestly and thoughtfully. Steps five and six require outward action. Take the step! Confide in someone and share the actions you’ll take to “work at it”. Ask for their prayer, support, and friendship as an accountability partner.
  • It is best for children to learn at a young age how to appropriately and healthily deal with their emotions. Several times during this next week, bring up the topic and engage your kids in conversation. Ask them how they feel when something happens to make them sad, mad, jealous, etc. Ask what happens with those feelings. Help them discover if they are stuffing or exploding, being a prisoner to or a manipulator with their emotions. Talk about different ways to express these feelings. Come up with words or phrases they could use to help them share their feelings in a positive way. Pray together for God’s help to make good decisions about what they are feeling.
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