I have had so many thoughts swirling around in my mind this morning. Teaching and the preparation that goes into it gives me great inspiration for deeper thought. While riding home from taking Noah to school I listened to Moody Radio which for those don’t already know is a Christian station. There is always encouragement there either through singing or godly discussion. I thought of how many choices we make in the course of a day and how those choices greatly impact our thought-life and our emotions.
Consider television, radio, internet, books, magazines and even the people we choose to interact with in personal relationships; topics of discussion, the language we use and hear. Everything has an impact. Emotions are especially sensitive and easily influenced. So much so, that we can be brought very high or very low by simply listening to a song or engaging in a brief conversation.
When training for crisis intervention, I was taught to be sensitive to the emotions of others but to focus on gently leading the person out of their emotions and into rational thought. Emotions can overwhelm cognition and render a person unable to function if not properly managed. Offering support and calm reassurance while focusing on those things we have influence over helps to bring emotions back to a manageable level.
I think about lives lived in chaos and how that chaos feeds off of the many negative influences in our society that people often willingly and thoughtlessly expose themselves to and then wonder why they are miserable. Television dramas are riddled with disturbing events. Most secular music and songs are about broken relationships or at the very least, shallow relationships. Magazine covers are highlighted with conflicts and corruption. All the while, advertisements encourage spending money on things we don’t need, even things that foster more chaos and sickness like alcohol and cigarettes. We are also fed messages that influence us through our emotions. Subtly we are told we will be happy and loved and beautiful if only we have these “things” which in reality are meaningless. We are so manipulated through our emotions.
How do we safeguard against all of this? First, we must know the TRUTH. We must have in our minds and our hearts an understanding of what is real and right and true. We must understand that our emotions are too easily aroused to trust them with our choices and our decisions. We must think! We must choose to feed our minds good mental food. We find this in God’s Word. We are able to clearly learn what is right and true if we seek to know.
How can anyone expect to find peace for their souls in a world like the one surrounding us? We cannot get what will give us joy and gladness, security and comfort, peace and provision from what is broken. Instead we can only find it in The One who is the creator of all.
Phillipians 4:8 tells us “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If we find ourselves diverting our attention away from these thoughts, let us bring it back to the source of peace and joy. We find in God’s Word life and all that we need to know so that we may order our days according to what will honor God and bless our own walk here.