I can be going about a normal day looking happy and well-adjusted on the outside, but on the inside I am a stormy sea of emotions.
I blame the hormones, stress, and lack of sleep for my moods. I do not show it, but my actions on the outside reflect my feelings inside. I try just a little harder to make people like me. I appear even happier and more bubbly to hide the fact that I wanted to cry just a moment ago. Shame and sadness can be my friend on certain days.
When I pray, my prayers are full of confessions and grievances to God. My readings in the Bible bring me deep convictions that tear me apart. This way of life has lead me to try to be a better person partly out of shame that I am never good enough. I constantly try to do better so that the shame will go away. It did not go away.
Why does this approach not work? First of all, I got very tired of being in a constant state of emotional distress. Second, I began to see the Bible in a new light. I realized that I had been studying the Bible with my heart instead of my mind. I had also let my emotions lead my prayers to God, and that had lead to pointless ramblings about how awful I thought I was.
In some ways, I sobered up from a place of letting emotions control me. I began to read the Bible purposefully to find the actual truth hidden in it that sometimes had nothing to do with me! I would start my prayers with giving thanks to God for who He is and what He has done. I let my relationship with God and comunication with Him change my heart. As my heart changed, my actions did as well.
My demeanor also changed as well. Even though I still felt those old emotions surface, I realized that they did not have to control me. I would bring my emotions before God and ask him to take them away. Shame has not place in my heart because I am forgiven and free because of the gospel of Christ’s, life, death, and ressurrection.
As I close this post, I just wanted to say that emotions are a normal part of the human experience. Do not shove down you emotions, because they are healthy and normal to feel. How we deal with our emotions is what I am really addressing. How we choose to react to emotions is often very different from how God calls us to react. Do not let your emotional state drive your actions. Give you emotions to God and let Him guide your actions.