(Adapted from the book Heart Of The Artist)
Everyone has emotions, whether we want to admit it or not! As artists, our emotions can either be an asset to us and our ministry or they can be a curse. Learning how to manage our emotions is the key.
Although the stereotypical Christian is always happy, the Bible shows a different view – the truthful one. We as humans have emotions, including sadness. Many people in the Bible were sad, mad, grumpy, or depressed. The emotion itself was not a sin, but sometimes the reaction to the emotion led to sin. So it’s not the emotions - it’s the choices that we make and the reactions we have after the emotions that we have to be careful with. We can’t let our emotions control us.
- When Our Emotions Get the Worst of Us
Are you negative, critical, cynical, always assuming the worst, bitter, allowing anger to fester, or basing your stand with God on how you feel? These are all signs of mismanaged emotions (when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts). Mismanaged emotions can make us feel separated from others and God.
- Managing our Emotions
Proverbs 25:28 says “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Mismanaging our emotions puts us in dangerous waters – we’re defenseless. Learning to deal with our emotions isn’t easy though, and it doesn’t happen overnight. The good news is that God wants to help. He’ll give us a new heart and a new spirit. We’re a new creation in Him!
One way to manage our emotions is to control our thoughts and bring every thought captive to Christ. Dwell on “whagever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Phil. 4:8). Sometimes we allow our emotions to take control solely based on things we thinkhappened, or we think are happening, but it’s not the truth. We maximize the negative and think the worst, instead of looking at the truth.
Turn your struggle into worship. As we seek the Lord in Spirit and truth with all our hearts and emotions, the “stuff” in our life that we struggle with no longer seems to be a big deal anymore. The things we were worried about, mad about, or sad about don’t have as much of an affect on us. We realize that it’s not about us!
Live in the Psalms. One of my favorite lines in the book is “I need an accurate view of God more than I need my problems solved.” Reading the Psalms will help us to see God. He wants to reveal Himself to those who seek Him.
Be angry, but don’t sin. We can’t always keep out thoughts or feelings as they come, but we can control how we react to them.
- Dealing with Disappointment/ Finding Your Sweet Spot
The rest of this chapter talks about dealing with disappointment and finding the place where God has called you or where you feel fulfillment in the gifts you have. I believe that these are in the same place, but maybe not where we always think they are. The only way through this disappointment is in seeking the Lord and His direction. Only He knows why we are here. I know some of the gifts I have, but if I presume to know how these gifts should fit into the body of Christ, I’ll probably end up in the wrong place.
Sometimes I think it might even be better if we didn’t recognize our gifts; then we would be less distracted by all the places we could use them! We need to focus less on the creation (our gifts and ourselves) and focus more on the Creator and His direction for us.