“Why do you let your emotions take over, lashing out and spitting fire?” (Job 15:12, MES). ”A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones” (Matthew 13:21, MES). ”A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them” (Proverbs 29:11, GW).
Human beings are very interesting and complex beings. We are spirit beings made in the image of God and we possess a soul (the mind, will, and emotions) and live in a body (our earth suit while on this planet). The Lord made us to be emotional beings but He never intended for those emotions to dominate, control, and direct the paths of his people. We are to express emotions without those emotions pushing us around in life.
Many believers, though born again, live very emotional lives and lives driven by how they feel from moment to moment or from situation to situation. From the Word of God we can see that we are to be anchored and guided through our relationship with Jesus Christ and his Word. Allowing ourselves to be controlled by our emotions rather than the Word of God and the Holy Spirit is what I mean by “drama.”
At the end of the day, living our lives at the mercy of drama is a waste of potential and our lives. Drama is unproductive (produces no results), it reveals unbelief, it postpones our answer and breakthrough, it drains our energy, it wastes our time, it taints our decisions, and it influences others adversely. When the twelve spies returned after spying out the land of Canaan, drama, not faith was most evident and spread like wildfire through the camp of the people of God. Despite the exhortation and faith of Joshua and Caleb, the people gave themselves over to drama and missed God’s best. When drama is operating in our lives (like the ten spies), we find fear, excuses, unbelief, bad reports, weeping, grumbling, questioning God, negativity, backsliding, rebellion, and anger.
If you see these tendencies in your own life it’s time to recognize the influence of drama in your life and the probability that you are living a very emotion-based lifestyle. Allow the Lord to minister to you the reality of His Word in every situation of life and listen closely for his still small voice. Go ahead and “feel” things but don’t allow those feelings to push you off the path of God for your life or to continue in that cycle of poor decisions. Every part of the human being was created with a purpose and for good but we must not allow the purposes of these different dimensions to get confused. The hands, for example are for touching, holding, working but not for walking. Similarly, the emotions are not designed for leading but for human expression, empathy, and connecting with a hurting world all around us. It’s the job of the human spirit enlightened by the Holy Spirit to discern the will of God and yield to it accordingly.
I want to encourage you to read the story of Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5 and consider the following principles for skipping the drama in your life:
- Ignore what you see and hear (vv. 35-36). In every challenge in life we have the opportunity to focus on the circumstances or choose to focus on what God has said. Jesus after hearing the death report ignored what they said and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (v. 36).Unfortunately, this is where we are undone most of the time. The force of what we perceive in the natural becomes more real to us than the reality of the Word of God.
- Curb the emotion (vv. 37-40). It’s one thing to experience emotions. It’s another thing altogether to be moved by them. It’s hard to stand in faith with all the commotion, the wailing, and the crying, but faith will immediately move to separate the emotion from the Word. When Jesus was informed of the death of his friend Lazarus in John 11 we know he empathized and even wept. The difference is that he did not let the emotions control him: “Jesus seeing her weeping aloud, and the Jews in like manner weeping – Jesus curbing the strong emotion of his spirit…” (John 11:33, Weymouth).
- Declare the Word (vv. 41-42). If we practice drama in our lives we will keep in on the ready and become very good at it. We become skilled in what we practice. If we practice our faith we will begin to produce results. Instead of focusing on the emotional intensity of the situation, Jesus boldly said, “I say to you, get up!” (v. 41). Faith responds with the spoken Word of God and not drama. We must learn to conform our emotions and the drama in life to Christ rather than conforming the Lord to our drama: “We use our powerful God tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure and life shaped by Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, MES).