Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As you set about taking these daily challenges, at some point, you’ll need to deal with uncontrolled emotions and destructive thoughts. Today is that day. We all have areas where we listen to the enemy and accept emotions and thoughts that will harm us. This is a battle for our minds, and unless we are deliberate in this fight, we will continue to allow our emotions and negative thoughts to destroy any progress we make.
Here are some areas you should look at when doing this challenge. Each are should start with prayer. Ask God to show you where you’re allowing the lies of the enemy to affect your thought life and emotions. He will help you with a plan of action. I’ve also included some books for each area. If you have a problem with a particular area, I highly recommend you read the book for that area.
Negative Thought Life:
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
If you believe and accept every thought that comes into your head or you have trained your mind to think in negative ways, you can be set free. Joyce Meyer has a saying, “Think about what you are thinking about.” It will take time, but you can command your thoughts to conform to the mind of Christ. You can be free from worry, defeatism, and discouragement. Here are some steps to take:
Notice what you are thinking about. Take hold of thoughts you want to get rid of.
Talk to yourself. Tell yourself out loud that you will no longer believe or entertain these thoughts.
Decide what thoughts you will think. Set about replacing the negative thoughts with the thoughts you’ve decided to think. Memorizing scripture to go with these thoughts will help a great deal.
Reading Material: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
Controlling Your Emotions:
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Emotions, even anger or hurt, are not good or bad. But they also aren’t a good way to gauge how we should react to situations. Emotions can lie, and they can change. They are affected by many things that have nothing to do with the situation we think caused them. Here are a few ways to control you’re emotions.
Admit your emotions to God and yourself. God gave you emotions for a reason. The first step in controlling them is to admit they are there. Emotions that are denied usually end up causing depression or rage. Emotions are neither good nor bad, so don’t try to suppress them.
Decide if Your Emotions are Valid: Are your emotions all over the place? Are they too strong for the situation?
Review your options. Even if your emotions are valid and appropriate, it may not be the best time to express them when you are in the midst of an emotional situation. Use your logical mind to decide how best to deal with volatile emotions.
Make a choice: Ask God what to do with your emotions, and make a choice allow Him to lead. There may be times when expressing your emotions strongly is the right course to take. For instance, if someone is trying to abuse you or someone else, a strong reaction is appropriate.
Reading Material: Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer
Unforgiveness and Bitterness:
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Forgiveness is commanded by God. Unforgiveness turns to bitterness and can affect our walk with God and our entire lives. But forgiving someone who has hurt you is not always easy, especially when that person deserves to be punished or doesn’t want your forgiveness. God wants you to forgive him anyway because you can’t be free of the offense until you forgive. Here are some steps to do that:
Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness isn’t an emotion, it’s a choice. Determine that the person who has hurt you is forgiven. You might even want to say out loud that you forgive that person.
Express your forgiveness. If appropriate and safe, let the person who has hurt you know that you forgive him. At times, this won’t be the wisest action, but you can still tell God and speak out loud that you forgive the hurt.
Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning. You can forgive someone and still protect yourself from an abusive or unhealthy relationship. You can also avoid the behavior that caused the offense. If you’re offended because someone owes you money and won’t pay it back, forgiving her of the debt doesn’t mean you should loan her more money. If an unrepentant spouse commits adultery, forgiving him doesn’t mean you should continue to stay and never mention it again. Forgiving only means that as far as you’re concerned, the debt is cancelled.
Forgiveness doesn’t happen all at once. Depending on the size of the offense, it will take time to heal and forgive. That’s okay, as long as you are working toward forgiveness.
Reading Material: The Bait of Satan by John Bevere
Depression: Everyone is sad once in a while or when something bad happens, but if you are always sad, you may be depressed. In the past , Christians have not understood that depression is a medical condition that needs treatment. If you can’t just get over it, consult a physician.