It was one of those days.
You know the kind.
The coffee overflowed in the coffee cup.
I pinched my finger in a drawer while trying to clean up the spilled hot coffee.
Cleaning the hot coffee randomly reminds me of an upcoming deadline I need to meet.
Meanwhile one of the toddlers wakes up with wet bed sheets.
The other toddler wants yogurt for breakfast (and we are out of yogurt).
We finally make it out of the house and every stop light turns red.
The grocery store is out of the one item I needed (the yogurt).
And this is all before noon.
At lunch I realize we are out of peanut butter, and now I am angry, frustrated, and irritable. I trip over a toddler shoe and feel like the world might just crash down around me. My toddlers’ questions and calling for me now feel like an irritating burden and I wonder if nap time will ever arrive.
I feel my anger rising, and I have a choice to make.
Will I give in to my anger?
Or will I ask the Spirit to help me fight my anger?
It hasn’t taken long in my journey of motherhood to realize that the work of being a mom is hard and challenging. While there are many sweet, joyful moments, there are also many difficult and taxing moments as well. How we respond in these most challenging moments not only reflects our hearts, but also sets a precedent for our children and builds a foundation for how they too will respond in different situations.
Maybe lately you have found yourself struggling to stop yelling at your kids in anger, giving in to anxiety about an upcoming project at work, or withholding words of encouragement to someone out of jealousy. It can feel defeating to be continually fighting these emotions.
Praise God these cycles of giving in to our emotions can be broken! We are not slaves to our emotions. Maybe you were angry yesterday, but, with the help of the Spirit, you do not have to be overcome by anger today! Praise God! There is grace for the times where we do give in to our emotions. But we have a helper who will help us fight our sin when we ask Him.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14: 16-17
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…”
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
We are not slaves to our emotions. We are free in Christ. Let us ask the Spirit to help us take every thought captive, focus on things above, and give us peace. We can stop in the moment we feel the emotions building and plead for the Spirit to help us fight our anger, bitterness, jealousy etc..
As I ask the Spirit to help me fight anger, bitterness, and any other emotion I don’t want to be prevalent in my life, I have found it helpful to find verses in God’s Word that will help me remember truth. The moment I feel the emotions begin to rise within me, I stop and meditate on that verse. In reminding myself of God’s truth in the moments I am most tempted to sin, I have found the Spirit to help me turn to emotions that instead glorify God. Here are a few you may likewise find helpful:
Are you struggling with anger?
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil..”
Are you struggling with anxiety or fear?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.“
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Are you struggling with self-control?
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
May we be strong women of God who seek the help of the Spirit to have strength in controlling our emotions.