One of the most important things we did as young children was learning to read. We would be severely handicapped if we had never learned to read. So many things we enjoy doing today we would not be able to do if we had not learned to read words. Think about it.
In the same way if we want to be emotionally strong and have relational wisdom, we must learn to read ourselves. Our emotions have a strong power over us. They can move us in so many different directions. Our emotions can cause us to do good things for others or they can bring harm to us and others, Our emotions can build up or bring down.
As Christians we need to learn how to anticipate and harness the power of our emotions (2 Timothy 1:7). We need to become more self-aware and self- engaging by reading ourselves accurately. Ken Sande has developed the acrostic READ to help us do that very thing.
R Recognize and name your emotions.
Ps. 42:5 | Matt. 14:30 | Phil. 4:6
E Evaluate their sources (thoughts, values, experiences, etc.).
Ps. 73:2-3 | Prov. 20:5 | James 1:13-15
A Anticipate the consequences of following them.
Prov. 22:3; 15:18 | Col. 3:5-6
D Direct them on a constructive course.
Prov. 15:1; 25:15 | John 12:27 | Col. 3:12-13
There are times we need to stop and deal with our intense emotions so we can pray and think about how we are about to react because of the emotions we are feeling. We need to pause and plan a proper response. We need to be willing to let our emotions move us to do something honoring and pleasing to God and not bring shame to Him. Sometimes we need to do a 180 so we don’t harm the cause of Christ.
Today take time to recognize your emotions, evaluate them, anticipate your actions, and direct them in a way that will bring glory to God.
Buddy Hunt is the Eastern Regional Ministry Partner for Oklahoma Baptists and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.