Listen to me. Never let anxiety enter your hearts. ~ Jesus (Luke 12:22 TPT)
How do you guard your heart?
As I scanned through Luke 12 this morning, I was struck by how many times in this address, or this collection of addresses, Jesus gave instruction on what I would consider emotional control, or emotional intelligence.
The chapter starts with,
Don’t fear those who may want to take your life, but nothing more. (Luke 12:4 TPT)
Followed closely with,
The one you must fear is God (5)
A few paragraphs later we have,
Don’t worry about defending yourselves or be concerned about hot to answer their accusations. (11)
Next Jesus tells them,
Be alert and guard your heart from greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. (15)
Still further down the page,
Never let anxiety enter your hearts. Never worry about any of your needs, such as food or clothing (22)
Don’t let worry enter your life. (29)
So with all that, I ask you, whose in charge of your emotions?
I know hormones and sleep and health (or lack there of) all play into your emotional state. I know there are chemical tricks your body can play on you, and sometimes the forces that would attack your peace are immense.
That’s why we must be super vigilant in the guarding of our hearts.
That’s why it’s imperative to stay in God’s word.
That’s why it’s important to stay in fellowship with folks who will stand with you and help you fight these external enemies.
I’m not saying “suck it up” and “stoic” your way though emotional valleys. There are things that are out of our control. I get that.
But we must do our part.
If you find certain activities bring you down, or draw you into lust, or greed, or anxiety, follow Solomon’s advise.
Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. - Proverbs 4:15 NASB
In the same way we must guard against the feeling of condemnation. Don’t let any outside influence (including this post) wiggle it’s way into a place of condemning you. If you are in Christ condemnation can only come from the mouth of the liar.
Today, make choices that guard your heart.
Shine where you’re screwed in.