Our Emotions Don’t Have to Rule Us

Our Emotions Don’t Have to Rule Us December 11, 2023

Our Emotions Don't Rule Us
Our Emotions Don’t Have to Rule Us


For God gave us a spirit of not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

I hurt. You hurt. We all hurt. It’s a given. At one time or another, we all feel the anguish of some measure of emotional pain. As humans, we are too often emotionally driven, at the mercy of our ever-changing feelings, and far too dependent upon circumstances around us.

Take personal responsibility

Clearly, some individuals “emote” more than others. But still, it is safe to say that every man, woman, and child experiences the full gamut of emotional responses and will continue to do so their entire lives. It is our reaction to these powerful feelings that counts. Simply stated, are we more reactive or proactive? Do we take some measure of responsibility for how we feel or not?

Most times, we respond to life’s stresses, the ups and downs of daily living (and any accompanying icky feelings), with an unconscious acceptance of both the good and bad. We realize that every day isn’t a fuzzy feeling one. On those especially wondrous occasions when every aspect of our emotional being affirms that life is good, we bask in a warm glow of satisfaction. Fleeting though they may be, we mistakenly use these rare moments as the gauge and end goal for every other feeling we experience.

Our emotions can warn us

If it makes us feel good, it must be good. If something makes us feel bad, it must be bad. Not so, say Elyse Fitzpatrick and Laura Hendrickson, M.D., authors of “Will Medicine Stop the Pain?” Feeling poorly is an innate warning signal alerting us that something is wrong. A signal we all should heed and address by taking action. And warnings are good things.

We are not victims

Likewise, we mistakenly believe that we are helpless victims of our volatile emotional state as well.  Buying into this fatalistic mentality is never conducive to good health. Might it be more productive and more helpful if we start fighting against the blue moods with deliberate, vigorous attitude adjustments and lifestyle choices? We can learn to think differently. We can develop methods to approach our circumstances and our responses with some active grit and faith-fueled determination. By doing so, we can begin “rewiring” our automatic negative reactions and replace them with a “change is possible” outlook.

Become a student of your personal triggers

Authors Fitzpatrick and Hendrickson also offer some reliable, practical thoughts on dealing with “on the run” emotions. When feeling overwhelmed by feelings discouragement, depression, or a simple case of downheartedness, they suggest becoming a student of one’s own habits. This includes taking a look at lifestyle choices, medicines currently being taken, fluctuating hormones and their effects, and attitudes toward life in general.

Learn what triggers affect your moods. Train yourself to anticipate those events, situations, or people that historically bring emotional upset. Then, take responsibility for making changes, either internally or externally. Perceptive matters. Choices matter. So instead of giving in to the “blues” counter them with constructive, decisive thinking. You’ll be surprised how those bleak emotions can slowly be replaced by an “eyes to see” bright mentality. Do it for you, do it for others.


Faith-fueled exercises for the emotions.

  • Be your own detective – recognize the areas where you tend to struggle most and be ready to counter emotional derailments before they occur.
  • Fight emotional angst by giving thanks – every morning mentally “give thanks” for at least ten things and do it every day.
  • Meditate on the truth – locate specific Bible passages that speak of God’s promised provision and care and memorize them.
  • Take the offensive – talk back to yourself when you start to “feel” overwhelmed or defeated.
  • Pray for the mind of Christ daily – ask God for his wisdom and insight on every matter and then take Him at his Word.



About Michele Howe
Michele Howe is the author of 29 books for women, children, and families. She has published over 3000 articles, reviews, and curriculum. Her newest release is Serving As Jesus Served: Practical Ways to Love Others. You can read more about the author here.

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