The month of October has recently become an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on our emotions and emotional wellness. This awareness month focuses on educating and equipping us with the tools needed to support our overall emotional wellbeing.
We often focus and emphasize the importance of our IQ (intelligence quotient). We all strive to be considered intelligent in our communities to contribute healthily. However, in honor of Emotional Wellness Month, we truly should create space in our lives and our time with God to evaluate our EQ (emotional quotient).
The entire world changed with the impacts of the global pandemic––and there is still not much of an end in sight. So what do we do? How do we ensure that we’re developing and growing our EQ?
First, let’s look at what the Bible says about our emotional health and how we are to respond as believers.
1. PEACE IS OURS!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27
As believers, we sometimes forget all that Christ left us with here on earth. When we aren’t clear on the privilege and blessings that Christ left for his people on earth, we will find ourselves experiencing so little of what Christ intended for us.
2. THE WORD OF GOD IS GREATER THAN MAN’S WISDOM!
The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” – Jeremiah 1:12
Affirmations are fantastic and have been a buzzword in the mental and emotional health world for a while. Positive thinking is excellent, and breathing exercises are beautiful. However, nothing compares to the power of declaring the word over your life and circumstances. Scripture tells us to speak God’s word over ourselves, regardless of how we feel. God responds to His word, and this is why we must speak His word, especially when we need heavenly interference in our emotions or circumstances. He’s looking for those who will speak it so he can perform it.
“What we think becomes our character but what we speak becomes our lives.” – unknown
3. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US TO DO about emotions?
When dealing with our mental and emotional wellbeing, we can quickly dismiss the impacts of thoughts and emotions. We forget that the Bible tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), which means to take our thoughts and emotions, hold them up to the word of God, and if it doesn’t align, we cast those things down.
Thoughts and emotions are like birds, we can’t prevent them from flying over our heads, but we don’t have to let them build a nest on our heads. We don’t have to live by our thoughts and emotions. We have the authority and capacity to live according to the Word. The emotional weight of everyday life is not something we have to succumb to.
4. GOD GAVE US EMOTIONS
Emotions are not bad; God gave us feelings for a reason. Anger is often viewed as a negative emotion, but anger tells us that boundaries are being crossed and shows up as a form of protection and self-preservation. Our feelings are not a problem; however, we must remember to exemplify the characteristics of the Holy Spirit that abides in us; even when we’re tempted or feel like doing otherwise.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
5. Renewing our minds
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. Romans 12:2
We can only function well if two parts are constantly connected: the head and the body. Without the head, our body would lose control. Now as believers, we know that in this example, Jesus is the head and we are the body of Christ; that without our focus on Jesus, we would fail to function. When we lose focus on Christ and instead look at the world around us, it wouldn’t take long until the influence of the world and the mental and emotional toll got to us. But as we are called by God to be set apart from the world even when we’re in the world, the only way to do this is to always renew our minds by refocusing on Jesus, by praying, by reading the Word of God, and by asking for His good, pleasing and perfect will.
As believers, we are not exempt from the trials and tribulation that comes with our earthly experience. However, we have the power to overcome through our relationship with Christ. Invite God into your emotional realm, recognize that He gave you the ability to feel and still desires a relationship with you when your emotions are complex.
We don’t have to pray away or hide our feelings from our Creator, instead, invite Him into this area to lead and guide you as you navigate this part of who you are.