This morning, I read a devotional reading with the title "Mind Over Madder". It was written by Chuck Swindoll, who I believe has a lot of wisdom and a great way of putting things. It caught my attention because the subject matter is something that hits close to home. Emotions. Particularly Anger.
When I have taken those fun (and not so fun) personality tests, my "Emotional" side always wins out. If I had MY way, I would make all of my decisions based on emotions...it is what comes natural to me. But when I do this, I often find myself in a huge mess. Especially when it comes to angry emotions. I have made a fool of myself more times than I care to admit when it comes to anger. Anger flares in me quickly, and I give in to it's strong pull for me to say things or act in certain ways. I know that this part of me does not please God. It certainly does not please the people in my life who are subjects of my anger, and honestly, I cannot stand it myself. God has talked to me about this on more than one occasion, but the most recent one was serious and He certainly got my attention. Since that situation occurred, now almost a year ago, I have worked diligently and faithfully on getting rid of anger...or at least inappropriate behavior as a result of becoming angry. It has been a long hard road, and God is not finished with me by any means, but He has done a great deal of work, with my cooperation. I can honestly say that I have not raised my voice in anger for 11 months and 14 days. The words that I have used to express my anger have not been hurtful, with very few exceptions. And I am practicing stop and think before I speak.
So, when I read this particular devotional, I was able to evaluate the changes in me in the last year. Gratefully, there is change, for the better. I am now free of the simmering anger that once had a hold of me, replacing it with love, grace, healthy boundaries, healthier relationships, and more trust in God. But I have also learned not to allow my emotions to run my life. My mind is in charge of my emotions which prompts me to make better choices, choices that honor God and others.
Today I am grateful for a loving God and a strong mind.
I am grateful for the situations that God has brought into my life to help me grow up, as painful as they have sometimes been.
And I am grateful for the wise people that God has put in my life as I have traveled this journey to healing.
"There is more happiness in giving than in receiving."