The Correct Emotional Reaction When You’re Being Sniffed By a Bear

A mature person has learned to be the commanding general of his emotions

Our five senses help us to know the world around us, but in reality they don’t do a lot of interpretation. They work closely with the interpreters.

We interpret what we hear, smell, feel, taste and touch with our emotions, our logic. These help us to make sense of all that’s going on around us. We hear a noise in the forest. We see a bear running towards us. Raw fear sends bolts of electricity up our backbone. Our brain says, “That bear is going to kill and eat you.”

And your emotions kick in and say, “Get out of her, fast!” And your legs fly into motion. (Note: some experts counsel you to avoid running because that excites the bear and provokes him to attack. These men in the know counsel you to lie down and cover your head with your arms. I don’t know myself. I think if a grizzly was sniffing around me, I’d probably die of a heart attack. That might be preferable to getting ripped apart and eaten. Having never been there myself I just leave it to you to decide. I guess it’s according to how fast you can run or if you have someone slow and tasty with you).

Our eyes see a sunrise over the mountain. Our brain says, “The sun is coming up.” Our feelings and emotions say, “Wow! That is beautiful.” Our spirit chimes in with, “O, Lord, what a gift you’ve given us, providing us with such beauty.”

Emotions Help Us To Understand

But though emotions help us understand, they aren’t always reliable interpreters of reality. Sometimes our emotions get sick, and when we’re not up to form in our soul, our feelings become unreliable gages of life.

Out of whack emotions can dominate us. When feelings are the boss, watch out!

We should be master of our emotions. That doesn’t mean suppression. An emotionless life is a life without color–gray and drab. Sometimes, though, anger, bitterness, frustration, doubt, hopelessness and all their friends want to take over and we can’t let them.

How do we get healthy emotions?

–Come to God–hard! If you’re emotions are sick, you’ve got to get healed. He is the Source of all healing. “I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out, blinded by tears of pain and frustration. I call to you, God; all day I call.” (Ps. 88, The Message)

–Consciously replace thoughts that aren’t in sync with God’s reality with the Word of God and His promises to you. Do it and do it and do it.

–Confront the thing that’s the source of the negative emotion. Emotions usually react to something and if you can’t get it straight inside of you, you can repress it, or hide it, but it will come out some way. And often our emotional reaction isn’t a response to the thing happening to us at the moment but rather to something in our lives we’ve never dealt with.

–Do something practical. Go on vacation. Find a hobby. Lose yourself in helping someone else. I think jumps from relationship to relationship are often attempts to heal something that’s not right in the center of ourself.

–Let God change you. Sanctification helps us to grow up in Christ. The more we become like Him, the more we’ll be masters of our emotions.

–Find a well-balanced friend who can help you. Talk to your pastor or a Christian professional.

Let’s be honest here. Emotions sometimes have a life of their own. They’re grouchy before the coffee. They’re unsupportable at certain times of the month. Some days it’s better just to leave them alone and let them get over it. If you pay too much attention to them, they only get worse.

In a good marriage people have to give each other space to heal and process feelings. That’s just the way it is in a good life, too. But, if we’re emotional pinballs 90% of the time, something is wrong.

And feeling bad is no excuse for acting badly. And feeling bad is no excuse for acting badly. Did I mention that feeling bad is no excuse for acting badly?

Grow Up!

Does it bug you to see whiny, crying children? There are a lot of adults like that, never growing up. Emotions dominate them and they control others with their emotions. “Walk softly around me or else! Give me what I want, or else!” At the best they’re childish. At the worst they’re manipulative and dominating with their emotional states.

We can’t let our emotions be boss. They allow us to experience life to the fullest, help us interpret situations and know how to react, but when they dominate us, there make us miserable as well as those around us. (See discussion at the bottom of the page)


Hum …

“Ten days of prayer plus a few minutes of preaching led to three thousand saved souls. Perhaps we invert the numbers. We’re prone to pray for a few minutes and preach for ten days.” (Max Lucado in the book “Come Thirsty”)

Here’s a comment one of my Facebook friends had about the power of emotions:

G B Emotions are both a friend and a foe. Friend in that they enrich the experience of life, let the heart soar and sink with life’s joys and sorrows. Dealing in logic only does not help one get past events and move onward. Emotions are a foe when they enrage the spirit and one does damage to those nearest usually the ones you love.

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