7 Deadly Emotional Sins – And What to Do About Them

Feelings are much like waves; we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf. ~ Jonatan Martensson

What kind of life do you want to have? Let me guess.

You want peace, prosperity, and good health. You’d like life to be less hurried and harried. You’d like more time for the things you want to do instead of the things you have to do. Am I right?

Can I tell you a secret? All those things are found in abundance in God’s Word – His instruction book for us.

Have you ever tried to put a complicated ready-to-assemble piece of furniture or child’s toy together without reading the instruction book? Stressful, huh? Well, life is the same way. God has given us a manual to follow – things to do and things not to do. The problem is – we tend to ignore the Do Not’s. Oh, we know the Ten Commandments, but we don’t give much attention to His other instructions.

Health, peace and even prosperity are directly affected by our thoughts and emotions. It’s been proven time and time again that stress creates disease. God wants us stress-free. That’s why He told us to cast all our care on Him (I Peter 5:7). That includes these seven deadly emotional sins.

Fear – Fear negates faith. It declares that the problem is bigger than God. Is that possible? The Bible says He is the Most High – nothing is bigger or higher than God. Fear is always false – a lie told by the devil to weaken your faith and short-circuit your success. Fear is a bully – all bluff and noise, designed to distract you so you forget just how powerful you are as God’s child and a joint heir with Jesus.

The solution: Fear not, believe only (see Luke 8:50, 12:32 and 2 Tim. 1:7). Fear not comes from a firm foundation of faith, and faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17). Study and meditate on pertinent verses until your faith is strong enough to dissipate the fear. ‘Believe only’ is an act of your will, not your emotions. You don’t have to listen to those voices in your head. Instead, speak The Word at them.

Anger – Anger, wrath, hatred, hostility and animosity are varying degrees of selfish displeasure. It is an emotional reaction to feeling wounded (emotionally, mentally, physically) or threatened in some way. We resort to anger as a way to repay the hurt or insult. Yet Romans 12:19-20 reminds us Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink…

The solution: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (Ps. 37:8).The Bible declares that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy (see Ps. 103:8; 145:8). Follow His example. Set aside your selfish feelings (yes, you can) and, instead, show mercy and compassion. I Corinthians 13 says that love suffers long and is kind, bears all things and is not easily provoked (v. 4,6-7).

Unforgiveness – Unforgiveness is a by-product of anger and selfishness – and it accomplishes absolutely nothing! The other person probably doesn’t even know you are hurt or angry. In fact, unforgiveness destroys your peace and blocks your prayers. Mark 11:23-26 explains that you can have whatever you say, but the next instruction is when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any.

The solution: Forgive. Plain and simple. God forgives us all of our sins and faults (Ps. 103:3). His example is our commandment. How many times in the New Testament did Jesus say “Thy sins are forgiven” just before the petitioner received whatever he prayed and hoped for? Forgiveness is the key to peace of mind. One of the last things Jesus said on the cross was, “Father, forgive them …” Should we do less?

Greed – Greed is idolatry (Col. 3:5) and leads to all sorts of selfishness and sin. It is the root cause of theft, miserliness, stinginess and covetousness. It is rooted in fear, saying “I have to take care of myself and get all I can.” A greedy heart has forgotten God’s promises of prosperity and all sufficiency in all things (2 Cor. 9:8). Instead of abounding to every good work, greed closes its fist, ignoring the needs of others.

The solution: Give it away! Find ways to be a blessing. Remember the man who came to Jesus and asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16) Jesus told him to sell what he had and give to the poor. You don’t have to sell everything (Jesus didn’t say all) but that young man didn’t want to part with any of it. Open your hand and heart, trusting God to take care of you.

Pride – Pride is an excessively high opinion of oneself. It often disguises itself as false humility. Pride is deceived by a false sense of power (Jer. 49:16; Ob. 1:3). It says, “I can handle this problem myself. I don’t need to bother God with it.” The Bible says pride is arrogant and evil (Prov. 8:13, a worldly emotion and not of the Father (I John 2:16).

The solution: God clearly told us to cast all our care on Him for He cares for us. He wants us to trust Him to meet all our need (Phil. 4:19). We must always be conscious that every good gift and every perfect give is from above … (James 1:17). No matter what it is, God is the Creator. We are recipients of His power, grace and blessing. In all thy ways acknowledge Him (Prov. 3:6) with a grateful humble heart.

Selfishness – Aah. Here’s the root of every kind of emotional, mental and physical sin. When we become so self-centered and selfish that we cannot see another view, a different option or another person’s pain, we have forgotten God and His plan for each of us. We have lost sight of the ‘blessing exchange’. You give to others and someone else gives to you. The synergy of combined talents, abilities and effort create the ‘peaceful world’ that God wants us to have. Selfishness voids that peace.

The solution: Honestly examine your motives. Are you considering others’ feelings and needs? God is Love, the Bible says. He created us in His image. It grieves His heart when we forget to walk in love.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption, Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Eph. 4:30-32). Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children: and walk in love … (Eph. 5:1).

Every one of these seven deadly emotional sins is an example of us trying to take care of ourselves. “I hurt. I’m mad. I need to punish someone. I want … I need …”

Instead, look to Jesus as our example. He never hurried, always had time for anyone who approached Him. He was full of peace and joy, despite the political and social problems of his day. He offered help in many different ways when the people would receive it (sometimes they didn’t, but that’s a subject for a different article). He was full of compassion – always. He had no concern for His own needs, knowing The Father would take care of Him.

Life is a continual growth process. God expects us to expand our understanding of His Word, act on what we learn, and become more and more like Him. Our commandment is Love – the God-kind of love. If we stay focused on that, and trust God to meet all our needs and cares, the Bible says we will never fail.

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