Many Christians struggle with their emotions, turning to negative habits to cope. Guest author Janelle Keith shares how she overcame emotional traps and you can too. Janelle is a popular blogger, and lost 132 pounds through God’s power.
See Janelle’s interview below and connect with her via website at thejanellekeith.com.
1. What are your favorite scriptures that help you manage your emotions and why?
- Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This verse is HUGE for me as the Lord helped overpower my mind to think better of myself from a bad habit of self-deprecation.
According to Wikipedia, “Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest.”
I suffered shameful years of negative self-talk where I believed the lies of the Enemy over the truth of who Father says I am. Therefore, I had to apply it into my life and plant it deep in my heart, put myself on the “worth” list to receive the building up of my new identify and worth from the Lord’s eyes. I am daily encouraged with this truth:
Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Temptations come often. There are many opportunities in which to fall down and fall prey to tempting foods every day. Even when you know what is a good choice you must choose appropriate portion sizes as well. It’s easy to binge eat out of emotional discomfort. You know that struggle too.
I remember that I was “bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” 1 Corinthians 6:20.
The blood of Christ is my covering and has erased my many mistakes when it comes to my disobedience. And that is a fact that I will take to the grave. The Lord is my strength and His blood bought my freedom to choose healthy foods.
I want to choose right and have self-control to make smart choices in every area of my life. This applies to exercise too.
When I feel weak and think I can’t go on, I apply 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2. What are 3 of your best tips to help others manage their emotions in Godly ways?
- Escape emotional traps: I work to separate myself from and resist the temptation and discouragement. I’ll take a walk, write something, or listen to an inspiring message that will encourage my heart in whatever I’m dealing with.
- Escape physical traps: I’ve learned that the rewards of obedience can’t be found in food any more. Comfort can come in prayer and reminding myself who God is, my Father who anticipates every one of my needs. Loneliness is swallowed up by seeking the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Rejection can be guarded by accepting the reality of the situation instead of assuming false guilt or shame.
- Escape mental traps: I discard the labels of my past and remember that I am a new creation because of the Lord Jesus. I remember the joy of my salvation and adopt a positive outlook instead of an “all –or – nothing” mentality. I’ll run the Lord and ask what fear is in the way of me seeing Him in the circumstance.
3. What sabotaging thoughts (lies) do Believers need to release that keep them in bondage to negative emotions?
There are so many answers to this one question and it looks different to each of us. Personally, I never heard a parent express love. I wasn’t an orphan child, but ignored.
My dad was in the generation where he did not say three simple words – “I love you.” Therefore, as a child I constantly craved the approval that he never gave. Fathers teach identity.
My mom eventually said that she loved me but it was later in my adult life. Mothers teach honor.
So because of the essentials missing in the early years, I did not discover my true identity in Christ until recently, after I lost 132 pounds. This a long story and a process of self-discovery and acceptance of many events in my life.
But John 8:31-32 says, “…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
As I bring my bondage to God, He breaks every chain. But I have to release those chains to gain my freedom. The past is very hard to let go of. Most tend to hide behind our wounds because of shame, guilt, or self-blame and it eventually closes your heart to the Lord.
Once I was honest before the Lord, then through His forgiveness, grace and receiving these two essentials I was set free to live the best version of myself in Christ. The Lord and are still breaking some links in my life but I am more free today than I ever have, and I’m not stopping now.
I know too much of Him to go back!
4. What are some things Believers can do at the “moment of decision” when they are tempted to practice destructive behavior when emotionally upset?
- Worship – redirect the desire of your heart
- Pray – redirect your motives
- Confess – redirect your will
- Renew – redirect your mind.
One the big “living” elements in the process of overcoming is surrounding yourself with people who are like-minded and will be your accountability that will walk alongside you every step of the journey.
This is hard stuff living free in the blood-bought identity of Christ. Not impossible, but only when we rely totally on Him to help with every step, to not be led into temptation and live to see the kingdom of God on Earth.
Jesus walked perfectly as the Son of God and was all human too. The difference is that Jesus was totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit who empowered the perfection in His life yet still was tempted and suffered in many ways.
God sent us a Savior, Jesus to save us and the Holy Spirit to help, empower, and befriend us in every weakness and time of need.
As sons and daughters of the Risen Lord Almighty, we must model our lives as Jesus did. Jesus knew who He was, was rock-solid in his identity and role on earth, and lived free.
Along the way, Jesus touched and healed and fed and taught and was always on mission to make disciples.
If we would follow His lead completely, then we too can “live a life worth of the calling we have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).”
Connect with Janelle at www.thejanellekeith.com
I thank Janelle for sharing her wisdom with us!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program