Three Questions to Ask About Your Feelings
By Rick Warren
“From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.” 1 Peter 4:2 (GNT)
What are human desires? They’re your emotions and your affections. And once you become a Christ-follower, your life should be controlled by God’s will, not by how you feel.
When you’re angry or upset or frustrated—whatever you’re feeling—ask yourself these three questions:
“What’s the real reason I’m feeling this?” Maybe the answer is fear or worry. Maybe it relates to something a parent said to you years ago. And then when someone else says something similar, that person becomes the target of all your pent-up anger.
“Is it true?” Is what you’re feeling at that moment true? There’s a point in the Bible where Elijah gets so discouraged that he goes to God and complains, “God, I’m the only one in the entire nation of Israel left serving you.” And God challenges him, saying, “Are you kidding me? I’ve got all these people who are still serving me! You’re acting like you’re the only one trying to do the right thing in the whole world! No, that’s not true.”
“Is what I’m feeling helping me or hurting me?” Will you get what you want by continuing to feel this way? Many feelings seem beneficial, but they’re actually self-defeating.
For example, let’s say you go to a restaurant, and the service is extremely slow. You wait a long time to be served. Then a couple comes in 15 minutes after you and gets their meals before you do. You become increasingly irritated until you feel something welling up inside you. You can ask yourself today’s three questions:
- What’s the real reason you’re feeling this? You’re hungry!
- Is it true? Yes, you’re frustrated because the service is slow.
- Is what you’re feeling helping you or hurting you? It’s hurting you. Getting angry with the server won’t get you better service. Does nagging ever work? When somebody tells you all the things you’re doing wrong, does it make you want to change? No, all it does is make you defensive.
So you can conclude that managing your emotions—choosing calm over anger—is the best path.
When you stop to ask yourself these three questions, you’ll get a better grip on why you feel the way you do and what you need to do to help the situation.
Don’t let your feelings control you. Choose to deal with how you feel—to manage your emotions—today.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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