Responding to strong emotions
By: Live the Promise
When was the last time you got really frustrated at something that seemed insignificant? Did you find yourself asking, where did that come from?
According to Sharon Garlough Brown, that is exactly the question we should be asking when we notice a strong emotional reaction in our hearts. We should learn to linger with what provokes us.
“What I’ve understood is when I am angry, when I’m agitated, when I’m fearful, when I’m defensive, all of these strong emotions, they aren’t without reason. If I will spend time to actually take those to the Lord and say Lord, I’m really angry right now and is there anything you would reveal to me in the midst of my anger?”
This can be a way of pressing the pause button in a moment of strong emotions.
“It’s what God does with Cain in Genesis where He says to Cain why are you so angry? Sin is crushing your door. I like that question, Sharon, why are you so angry? or why are you afraid?”
Instead of being honest with our current emotional state and asking God why we feel the way we do, the tendency is to scold ourselves and stuff our emotions.
“We often say as Christians, I shouldn’t be angry, I shouldn’t be afraid, and I shouldn’t be irritated and therefore I’ll just stuff it and ignore it.”
Instead of stuffing we should ask God what He is trying to reveal to us in that moment.
“That’s invitational. That’s where the Spirit is just hovering, looking to reveal and bring us deeper into the presence of Jesus.”
Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director and co-founder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats and resources. Her book Sensible Shoes was named one of television personality Kathie Lee Gifford’s “favorite things” in March 2013. Sharon earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Key Scripture: Ephesians 3
Featured Songs: Oceans – Hillsong United; Who You Say We Are – Steven Curtis Chapman; Calvary - Hillsong
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