“But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.” (Psalm 131:2 NIV)
Calm and quiet come with maturity. Learning to control our emotions is a work in progress. As children, we threw fits. I know I was guilty of having a tantrum if I didn’t get what I wanted. But my mother quickly taught me, tantrums don’t work. She did not back down when she made a decision. The more of a fit I threw, the more she stood her ground. I learned over time, not to waste my energy on tantrums. My mother taught me how to control my emotions by not giving in to bad behavior.
Learning to control emotions is a lifelong process. If we were capable of controlling our emotions at all times, we would have no conflict. People wouldn’t say things they didn’t mean to say. We wouldn’t do things we didn’t mean to do. I broke my foot once kicking a chair because I was mad at my brother. I was in highschool. I hobbled on crutches for weeks because of one moment of over reacting. When our emotions control us, we lose common sense. We are unable to view whatever the situation is realistically. As a result, we cause more harm than good.
Calm and quiet come with maturity.
In order to control our emotions, we have to analyze our reactions. I ask myself these sort of questions:
- Why did I overreact?
- What emotion was I feeling?
- What would I do differently if I had a do-over?
And I seek God. I look into His word for solutions. I talk to Him about my reaction in prayer. Recently, I’ve begun asking Him to help me define the emotion. My typical first response is anger. But now I’ve learned there are many more emotions than just anger. I feel disappointment, sadness, rejection and so many other things. What is tipping off that particular emotion in me? Once I identify the emotion, I can determine ways to control it.
Solomon gives us this advice:
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32 NIV)
I ask God to change me. I pray for His spirit to rule my life. Instead of responding in anger, I ask God to let me respond in grace and mercy. I am His work in progress. I have a very long way to go, but I’m not where I was.
Calm and quiet come when we learn to control our emotions. God wants our lives ruled with His spirit, not our emotions. When we do, we’ll have His peace.
Question of the Day:
Have you asked yourself: “Why did I react that way?”