Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe™! We’re almost finished with Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss as we discuss week eight. Our lesson this week focused on emotions and truth in Scripture. Nancy writes “I know of no other tool the enemy uses more effectively to lead us as women into bondage than our emotions.” This past week we examined our emotions against Scripture and God’s promises.
We saw that too often and too quick- we believe and act on these emotions.One example is how we react to the emotion of anger. If we sat in a room together and I asked how many of you regretted making a decision in anger, more than half of you would raise your hands. The feeling of anger can cause people to have affairs, gossip, use hurtful words, break something, seek revenge…and much more.
Sometimes we justify our anger by our physical situation- illness, menstruation, menopause, exhaustion, or ailments. Other times, we justify our anger with verbal defenses so strong, the best attorney couldn’t disagree with us. For this reason Scripture warns us to be on guard for anger and watch our words carefully. Satan can use your anger to hurt or injure another person and cause you shame for your actions.
Anxiety is another emotion we act upon. We’ve looked at several Scripture verses reminding us to keep peace and be calm. When anxiety overpowers us, Satan uses it to worsen our situation and draw us apart from God. We attempt to control the situation and prevent further trouble, yet in doing so we often dig deeper holes.
The best and obvious solution for controlling our emotions is Scripture and prayer. When we are in the presence of God, our emotions are easier to manage. We’ll recognize them and act upon God’s will, not our feelings at the time.
As I finished reading this chapter, I realize how some emotions stem from chemical imbalances and require medical attention. Mood disorders, depressions, addictions and such are best managed with professional help. Once the brain chemicals are in balance it becomes easier to filter your thoughts and control them. You should not feel guilty for taking antidepressants or mood stabilizers if your doctor has diagnosed a need for them. Too often men and women use mood altering behaviors- such as alcohol, recreational drugs, smoking, or promiscuity- to deaden their emotions and anxiety. Long-term use of this behavior has devastating effects on the person and creates an even larger problem then the one they were self-medicating!
If you haven’t done so already, take a moment and reflect on your emotions. Examine your past week and look for symptoms of emotions that need to be addressed. Then make a personal decision and commitment on how you will handle this in the upcoming week.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:7-8 NLT
Assignment For Next Week
- Pray for the women who are doing this study with you.
- Read Chapter Nine in your book and companion guide.
- Look at the list of Key Resources on page 269 for topics addressed in this book
- Check in with your Small Group Leader
Have a great week…share what you are learning with others as you grow in truth!
God is good…always!
CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries.
2) I believe my emotions affect me more at work during the day then at home. I deal with the public and their medical bills so discussions can get intense. I of course handle myself well – but afterwards I definitely feel the need to “vent”. I need to be more understanding and realize not everyone has the knowledge I do regarding medical bills. I need to take these opportunites as learning experiences for both me and the patient. I take these situations personally at times and I need to realize that it is not about me.
What really struck me this week was when Nancy said “our emotions are only servants of our will… our will can control our feelings if only we are steadfastly minded to do so.” Often times I far too easily give in to my emotions and write off how I’m feeling as “I can’t help it” when instead I should be acknowledging that those feelings are a choice I’m making and turning to the Lord and recalling His promises. Paul Tripp often says, “no one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.” It is all about learning how to talk to ourselves properly.
1.Why is it important for us to realize that God expresses emotions? So often I think I would be better off if I would not feel the emotions I do so it is helpful to know that God expresses emotions and so emotions aren’t always wrong. It is a struggle for me to believe that I can control my emotions but that is God’s truth.
2.How much do your emotions affect your actions on any given day? A lot. I get in a “mood” and that dictates whether my day is going to go good or bad. What Joyce Meyer says is true “where the mind goes, the man follows”.
3.What advice would you give to women who are struggling with anger, shame or fear? I just finished reading So Long Insecurity and learned that a lot of my issues stem from being insecure–being afraid that I do not measure up. I am clothed with strength and dignity so I do not have to let other people’s opinions take away my secuirty. If you have this particular type of fear (fear of not measuring up), I would suggest reading Beth Moore’s book.
2. My emotions affect me everyday, I think I would be better off with out them. As I can run from hot to cold in two seconds flat.. I know without God’s help I could not control them as I do. i use to be a very angry person, flying off the handle all the time over things that I had no controll over. God has helped me so much with that anger. I thank Him daily for this. God is amazing.
It’s interesting that I am being confronted at this very moment with emotions. This lesson has helped me reiterate that God does not want me to respond to situations where my first emotion is anger and embarrassment. I need to ask God to review the emotions with me and give me an open ear on how to respond. Sometimes we as women feel we need to respond immediately to situations, so this can be a struggle to pray and wait.
1. I think God blessed us with emotions, since He created them and had them Himself. My downfall is that when i experience an emotion, i react first without first reaching out to God and His Word to see how to handle my emotion. Emotions help us realize how alive we are as human beings and i can’t imagine how we will feel in Heaven! Pure Joy!
2. My emotions do affect me throughout the day. I tend to react negatively to negative emotion from other people as i get older, but i feel blessed that i am normally a joyful person. The verses on “i am content in any circumstance”… has really helped me this year.
I can relate to you Lane because I also let me emotions come first and react…. when I should reach out to god and listen for him…
#4: This chapter is EXACTLY what I needed this week! I really struggled (yesterday) with anger after a recent conversation with a family member. I got off the phone & could feel my chest burning with rage. I naturally have a bad temper & before becoming a christian used fits of rage to express myself. Over the years, God has helped me maintain physical control when I’m emotional. So sometimes I can feel great about my level of self-control…until weeks like this. Although I no longer throw things, punch walls or beat up my steering wheel, I still have to learn how to deal with my heart when I’m anger. And that phone conversation yesterday helped me realize this is an area I still need to surrender to God…again & again. Sometimes my anger overshadows logic, reasoning & the Truth. In fact, yesterday I had to verbally say to myself, “STOP and pray!” This quote was really helpful: “…before we do anything else, we should acknowledge God’s presence and ask Him to walk with us through the experience, to direct us in responding to the circumstancs, and to provide His resources to deal with the situation.” Amen! This chapter reminded me that living out 1 Peter 5:7-9 can make all the difference: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
I am by definition not a very emotional person. Much of this can be attributed to how I grew up. My mother was/is bipolar and I grew up around swinging emotions. Each day was different-sometimes each hour! As I grew , I would stuff those emotions I felt and tried not show any. So I guess I have struggled the opposite of what most women experience. This can be just as bad as being overly emotional. You can come off as cold even though that’s not true and inside you may be crying out. When I had children , I had to force myself at times to show emotions that for years I had stuffed down and had kept flat. Now at 50, I still struggle showing those emotions. It’s an ongoing process.
I do think that as women we ARE greatly affected by hormonal imbalances. I think recognizing that at least once a month you are going to be a basket case and asking God to help you be calm will help you. Also , never make important decisions during “that time of the month”. You want to make sure they are not emotionally driven.
I like what Chesca said above me–Stop and Pray. Such a great thing to remember and do.
Whether emotions govern me on a daily basis is more often than I would like to admit a matter of choice. I can choose to wallow in the mire of “mad” as if it were mud or I can pull out my Bible, put on some Motown music, or look thru pictures of my grandchildren. When I feel depressiin coming on, I often remove my glasses for a few hours. Then I put back on, put Eva Cassidys version of A Wonderful World in my player, and go walking with Bugs, our dog. The beauty of God’s word, especially at this season, does wonders.
1. It is so good to read God’s Word & see that He does have emotions – to remind us that we are not alone on this earth, and He Feels for us & with us. The hard part as women is recognizing the emotion for what it is, and giving it back to the Lord – not living in it or into it.
2. There were things set into motion within me as a child that have been hard to overcome & never expressing, yet wearing the emotion on my face is one of them. As an adult with husband & children, I began to ask the Lord to change me. It’s been a battle, and a good day can easily be disrupted by a word, body language of a person, Anything I perceive as against me. The difference now is that I try to look at the situation for what it is and allow God to deal with me before I let it ruin the day. The thief Does come to steal, kill & destroy & I thank God that our Lord Jesus came to give us Life abundant!
3. Anger, shame & fear are companions that tell us that we are victims, holding us captive because we have allowed them to stay & not living into who we are in Christ. I say this, because I have been in that dark place. We MUST make the choice of letting go and letting God heal, restore, and show us how to live into the Life Abundant. His Word is True & He will never forsake us.
4. I loved the scripture references for this chapter – ever reminding me of How to deal with my emotions and living in this world – and to Give Thanks & Praise constantly!!!
Why is it important for us to realize that God expresses emotions?
I thought it was interesting that God express His emotions and given us these feelings to but since the Fall our emotions have now been tainted. I never really looked at that before. Whatever God creates, Satan distorts negatively if we allow it in our life. I need to remember that He wants us to sanctify these emotions to live a godly life and bring glory to Him.
How much do your emotions affect your actions on any given day? The past two weeks, I realize that my emotions were all over the place because I wanted to control a situation I have been dealing with for a long time instead of giving it completely to the Lord and praying for His protection and guidance to help me deal with it. A lot of times it isn’t that I don’t say anything but I internalize the negative feelings and let the Devil have a field day beating myself up. I believe the lies instead of believing God’s truth. I realize that I need to see how God sees me and believe He loves and affirms me. I asking God to let it sink in my brain. Also, I went back and read page 68.
What advice would you give to women who are struggling with anger, shame or fear? We all struggle with these emotions but there is a way to handle these emotions in a godly way. I would tell her about this book and bible study. It has pressed me to have a deeper comitment with the Lord.
Share your thoughts about this week’s lesson. John 14:27.
Even though I am going through this trial, God has been blessing me. A long time ago, Christine gave me some godly advice. I didn’t want to go to church because of gossip about me but she told me don’t go for what you will get out of it but go to help someone there. Since I have been going every Sunday, there has been two occurrences that I was used by God to encourage another person. There has been dialogue between the Lord and me. I started to get involved in ministry by providing money and desserts for the youth group. Last Monday, I was returning an item at a store and there was a man standing in line behind me who was on his cell phone and talking to a friend that he wasn’t getting paid for any sale commissions. He sounded desperate. The Lord told me to talk to Him and I said, “I can’t do that he will think I am crazy.” Then the Lord repeated to me again and then I said, “Ok.” This was the first time that I had peace to witness. By then we were at the return counter and when I went to turn to talk to him, he was gone. I asked the Lord, “What was that all about?” He wants me to be faithful. But He is starting to move me to witness to people which frankly I am scared to death but excited at the same time. I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to use me, it is all about HIM!
I think it is important for us to see that God has emotions so that we can really believe and feel that He can empathize with us in all situations. So, emotions are normal. What I was struck with this week was the lie that if I feel it, it must be true. Wow, I’ve seen this lie in action in the last few months and not in a good way! I’ve watched someone who I believe loves the Lord turn away from her church family based on a self-centered feeling. (the need for self-adoration and jealousy if others have the spotlight) It brings home to me how important it is to not react so quickly to some of my emotions but to think about it, pray about it, and above all to ask the Lord’s guidance. God must surely look down on us some days, shaking his head, and wishing our days of being hormonal teenagers would pass quickly. I’m sure as He does, he has a smirk on his face.
I loved this lesson! The 6 month anniversary of my Mom’s death is tomorrow and I feel more like a mess now than even a few months ago. I am sleeping again, but I need to figure out how to make me better. I spends I much time working with my kid’s loss that I forget about my own loss. Even though we didn’t have the best relationship – she did live with us – and we spent a lot of time together.
This lesson gave me a lot of take aways that I will be using in my life. And it helped me understand that if I keeping turning to God – I will get through this.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4, 6, 9 NLT)
Why is it important for us to realize that God expresses emotions?
So that we understand emotions are OK. It is the unhealthy emotions that get us in trouble. For us to know that God feels sorrow, that right there should make us realize that when we sin God cries. We have been created in God’s image so for us to know God has emotions; it is learning what is OK and what isn’t.
How much do your emotions affect your actions on any given day?
Lack of communication and money is an issue with my husband & I. When things occur in that area, quarrels and anger usually rears its ugly head.
What advice would you give to women who are struggling with anger, shame or fear?
To be in God’s word! That is the only way we can recognize that these are not fruits of the spirit.
Share your thoughts about this week’s lesson.
We live in a cruel- Dog eat dog world. As a working, business owning woman there are things that happen that just amaze me on how people operate. Our emotions can get so out of control if we do not consult God daily and constantly. It is so important to be aware of what God’s word says and so important for a husband and wife to be on the same page with communication and money. This lesson really reminded me that emotions in an unhealthy way are not OK.
We also live in a world filled with God’s blessings. Our challenge is to see the good, correct the evil and let the heart of Christ shine through it all.
Yes, we do live in a world filled with many many of God’s blessings. However, we always cannot correct evil. People are going to operate on their emotions which can be down right evil. We are in the midst right now of dealing with some very evil people. God is the only one at this point to correct them.