The danger of failing to manage your emotions is enormous. If you respond to a slight (real or imagined) negatively, it is possible not only to turn a friend into an enemy, but also to damage your own soul—and body. Even storing “bad” things in memory and recounting them can harm your health.
Of course, the rewards of self-control are also spiritual and eternal. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:25). And Ecclesiastes 7:9 warns us, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
The good news is that it is possible for you to change your habits and control your emotions, regardless of how deeply embedded those habits may be.
· Watch out for negative feelings such as fear, anger, worry, resentment, and jealousy—and refuse to give in to them. Concentrate on the positive emotions and attitudes of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
· When you do become angry or tense, do something to distract yourself. Go for a walk or run. Listen to soothing music. Do some deep breathing exercises. Relax. Cool down!
· Use the resources of your faith. Keep a Bible close by. And, remember, prayer works for every mood.
· Mentally picture the advantages of being in control of your emotions. Then, with God’s help, start being in control!