Positve Proactive Emotions

Sunday, March 31, 2013

What is your emotional cycle? We all have one? Do you have a cycle of positive proactive emotions or negative re-active emotions? In order to create more joy in our lives, we need to learn how to create a cycle of emotions that lead to peace and joy. Christ desires for us to live in joy.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

  Many of us do well with positive emotions UNTIL someone “rains on our parade!” Then we often feel we are entitled to a time of self-pity and negativity. When circumstances don’t go our way or someone hurts us or makes us mad.
First of all, let’s make sure we understand what “negative emotions you believe you deserve” means.
• Holding grudges against someone who hurts us
• Sulking in response to being disappointed
• Giving others a cold shoulder if they’ve offended us
• Keeping an unforgiving spirit against someone
• Saying mean things
• Ignoring someone on purpose
• Going into our cave of seclusion
• Avoidance
• Procrastination
• Choosing to live in denial and ignorance
• Refusing to talk it out
• Being closed minded
• Being “snippety-snappity” – (My coined word but we all know what it means to snap at people)
• Being brash and harsh
• Having to be right
• Others? _____________________________________

We find ways to justify negative emotions that take us down into a pit of sadness, anger, and withdrawal. It’s important to examine each situation that has a potential to draw us down and examine what our overall goal is. Consider these questions:
  • Do you want to be right or happy?
  • Do these responses move you toward a goal for a joy-filled life or away from that goal?
  • Do these responses bless others?
  • Do these responses glorify God?
 If your goal is to live a life pleasing to God, one that draws you closer to him and to draw others to him, then do your emotions match your goal?
We all have negative triggers from time to time. A time of reflection allows us to think about how to effectively respond when we’ve been hurt.

Animals have trigger responses. They have reflexes that allow them to respond without thought. On the other hand, humans are the only known species to have highly developed communications skills. We are able to reflect and make judgments about our actions and others’ actions. God designed us with the ability to make moral choices. And God has given his most valued creation something more – the ability to pause between an action and our response. There is a gap between the two.

We get to choose how to respond. Even in a split second we can ask ourselves, “What is my goal in this situation?”
It is Christ’s desire that we be filled with the joy that only can be found through him. By being proactive about our emotional goals, we can be ready in the gap. What we do in the gap determines our joy level!


Scripture Affirmations

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Erratic - Having no fixed or regular course; wandering

Have you ever observed an erratic driver? They don’t maintain a steady speed and they weave in and out of traffic, often drifting from side to side in a lane. Sometimes they accelerate in fits and spurts. Their behavior is unpredictable and inconsistent.

Is your spiritual growth a bit erratic? Do you find yourself taking one step forward and two steps back or two steps forward and one step back? Do you find that you just so far down the road and then a roadblock stops your forward movement?

Roadblocks to our spiritual growth take the form worry, fear, doubt, apathy, a judgmental attitude, and negative talk.

How can we be more consistent in our spiritual growth?

First we need to make up our minds to move forward. Our spiritual growth will need to be a priority. When we have a committed time of prayer and Bible reading we condition our mind with thoughts and feelings in line with our Heavenly Father. Carrying those feelings with us throughout the day will help us to continue to move forward in our journey. When we are tempted by roadblocks, we can be strengthened to move through them instead of being stalled by them.

Using affirmations throughout the day can help keep our thoughts fixed on God. Affirmations are positive quotes, Bible verses, or memorable sayings that we use to support our spiritual health. Affirmations give us hope and strengthen our belief that we can live a life of joy.

Words are like seeds that shape our world as the verse in Proverbs says,

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit ---you choose. Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

Affirmations help us to attach ourselves to the things we want in our life instead of the things we don’t. We want joy, peace, fun, prosperity, significance and excellent health. That means we must run from the inner voice that causes us to gossip, nag, complain, become bitter and unforgiving.

Choose to move forward in your spiritual journey. Choose words of life.

For a free packet of Scripture Affirmations, click here or copy/paste in your browser:  C:\Documents and Settings\Cathy\My Documents\Scripture Affirmations.htm 

Fluent Compassion

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In his book 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry suggests we begin to practice “fluent compassion.” I have never thought about being fluent in compassion. To be fluent means to able to speak a language effortlessly. Can I really speak AND demonstrate compassion effortlessly.? This is hard for my choleric nature to do!! Mercy, unfortunately, ranks pretty low on my spiritual gifts inventory. I find it easier to show compassion to someone who is humble or someone who is the victim of circumstances over which he has no control. But how do we extend compassion toward the person who seems to be the source of the negativity in the first place? Or to someone who has brought about his or her own suffering. Isn't that a challenge? Jesus expects us to show love to everyone whether they deserve it or not. Jesus showed fluent compassion. It’s also called grace.

I have found it helpful to assume that negative people are really dealing with some internal struggles and I should give them the benefit of the doubt. It really says more about me than the other person, if I return negativity and harshness with the same.

My dad showed me strategy when I was a child. Whenever we were eating in a restaurant and the server seemed distracted, upset, or gruff, he would disarm her without her realizing it. He would simply say, “You must have had a busy day. I hope we can make it better.”

Let’s see how Jesus handled extending compassion to perhaps undeserved recipients.

When Jesus was in that region east of the Sea of Galilee, known as “the country of the Gerasenes,” he encountered a man whose body was possessed by demons. This unfortunate man was a spectacle who wandered around the countryside unclothed and lived among the tombs, He cut himself with stones, easily broke through chains that bound him, and generally terrorized the neighborhood. Jesus showed mercy and cast out the demons. The man’s gratitude was obvious. He even wanted to travel with our Lord, but Jesus had other plans. “Go to your house unto your friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Showing mercy means that we help others because our heart goes out to them. It is a response that comes from a tender heart. Mercy is an act of compassion.

"Compassion is the capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too." Frederick Buechner

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan

David recognized the compassion of God in Psalm 145: 8 and 9 -

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.

The LORD is good to all;

he has compassion on all he has made

Let’s consider how showing compassion keep us slow to anger, rich in love, and good to all like our Lord. Let’s learn fluent compassion.

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