INDISCRIMINATE EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS
Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God
Another unhealthy way to respond to emotions is to thoughtlessly let it all hang out, to tell anybody and everybody exactly how you feel. The apostle Peter is a great example of indiscriminate expression. Peter was the John Wayne of the New Testament–a real door slammer. He had no problem telling anyone what was on his mind or how he felt. I like to refer to him as the one-legged apostle because he always had one foot in his mouth.
Peter’s impulsive nature got him into trouble more than once. In one setting, he was the spokesperson for God, and Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). Then moments later he spoke for Satan, and Jesus had to rebuke him: “Get behind me, Satan!” (verses 22, 23).
It was Peter who missed the point on the Mount of Transfiguration by suggesting that they build three tabernacles to honor Moses, Elijah and the Master. It was Peter who impulsively whacked off the ear of Caiaphas’ servant during Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane. And it was Peter who promised to follow Jesus anywhere, even to the death, then swearing only hours later that he never knew Him. The fact that Peter became a leader in the New Testament church is evidence of the powerful transformation effected by the Holy Spirit.
Indiscriminate expression of emotions may be somewhat healthy for you, but it may be unhealthy for others. “There, I’m glad I got that off my chest,” you may say after an outburst. But in the process you just destroyed your wife, husband, or children. Paul admonished: “Be angry, and yet do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). If you wish to be angry and not sin, then be angry the way Christ was: Be angry at sin. He turned over the tables, not the money changers.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me to express myself in a gracious way so I don’t hurt others as I seek emotional release.
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