One of the biggest barriers to conflict resolution is hightened emotions. It’s hard to approach someone to resolve a conflict when you’re hurting inside. It’s hard to even entertain the idea of resolving conflicts when your anger is calling for vengeance. In some cases our feelings are so strong nothing a person says or does can appease us. We’re too hurt to forgive and too angry to forget. Here are a few tips for getting emotions under control.
1. Tell God how you feel.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)
Before we run off to vent our feelings with friends, coworkers, or classmates, we need to talk to God. When we submit ourselves to him and pray about how we feel, three things will happen; he will give us his perspective on everything, peace that surpasses all understanding, and protection for our hearts and minds.
2. Make every thought obedient to Christ.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 NKJV)
Any thought, idea, or feeling that is contrary to the knowledge of God must be addressed. God gave us emotions and it’s okay to feel, but it’s also mandatory that we’re obedient to God. When we’re emotionally charged its tempting to release those pinned up feelings by saying harmful words. We may be tempted to violence. We may begin to plot our retaliation and vengeance rather than seeking a resolution. Those thoughts and emotions must be captured, disciplined, and made obedient to God before they spiral out of control and cause us to sin.
3. Mature in the area of self-control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians5:22, 23 NKJV)
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,” (2 Peter 1:5, 6 NKJV)
Self-control (also called temperance) is a mark of spiritual maturity just like increased knowledge of God’s word or changes in your lifestyle. It is identified as a fruit of the spirit and as a virtue to add to our faith. If we are constantly maturing in the area of self-control we will be less likely to lash out when conflicts rise in our lives.
What are some other tips you can share for getting feelings under control? Leave a reply.
Published by D. J. Manuel
Pastor of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Tuskegee, Alabama. Author, leader, husband, father, and entrepreneur. Passionate about authentic, practical Christian faith.
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